Update: downtown lounge owner tries to set record straight about New Year's shooting

A police crime scene photographer documents evidence at the scene of a shooting outside of the LED Lounge in Anchorage on January 1, 2019. Photo by Aaron Weaver.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Update: Friday, Jan. 4

The owner of a downtown lounge is trying to set the record straight about a shooting early New Year's Day morning.

"Right now I just want to get the story straight." said Robert Alexander, LED Ultra Lounge & Grill owner.

Anchorage police now say 2019's first shooting was not associated with the LED Ultra Lounge and Grill in downtown Anchorage.

Alexander, the lounge owner, says the Anchorage Police Department's original message about the incident, which stated "The preliminary investigation found that a large altercation broke out at LED Lounge between multiple people. One adult male was shot once in the upper body," was wrong, both about what happened and where it happened.

That initial message from APD, on Tuesday January 1st, stated that officers responded to the lounge "in reference to a large disturbance. While officers were en route, APD Dispatch received reports of shots fired in the same area."

However, on Thursday, APD issued an update stating that the altercation happened in an alley next to a parking lot not associated with the LED Lounge, and that the shooting happened at 5th Avenue and K Street, which is more than a block away from the LED Ultra Lounge.

But, Alexander said the damage was already done by the previous, incorrect information released by police, which was reported by the news media.

"Next thing you know I'm getting calls from the ABC Board. I'm getting..well they call it AMCO now ..I got a call from them to respond." Alexander said in an interview Friday evening. "I've got the downtown city council concerned. I've got customers that are concerned because they think people got shot in my club. That was all false."

Alexander told Channel 2 News that a previous shooting just outside the location killed the previous business under different owners— something he hopes to not repeat.

Original story:
It's the new year in Anchorage, as residents rang in 2019 early Tuesday morning, Jan. 1. It was just three hours later, police said, that the city saw its first shooting of the year.

According to Anchorage Police Department dispatch, the shots were reported just before 3 a.m. on the 900 block of West 6th Avenue downtown.

There, at the LED Ultra Lounge & Grill, police responded to what was described as a "large disturbance" prior to the shots being fired.

At LED Lounge, police said in a statement, one man was shot in the upper body. He's been transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and police say alcohol was a factor in the shooting.

A witness at the scene observed police searching the parking lot for shell casings, and a vehicle with bullet holes through its glass. Smears of what appears to be blood was also seen on an APD cruiser.

No suspect information was provided. Channel 2 has reached out to APD for more information on possible victim or suspect information.

This marks the second year in a row that Anchorage has rung in the new year with a downtown bar shooting. In January of 2018, Timothy Smith, 39, was shot and killed, his body found lying in the street on 4th Avenue.

This is a developing story and has been updated.


Smears of what appears to be blood dot an Anchorage Police Department cruiser following a shooting on New Years Day, 2019. Photo by Aaron Weaver.


 
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