ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - One man is in the hospital for multiple gunshot wounds, following a robbery attempt in West Anchorage. The victim was shot down, after refusing to hand over his cell phone.
According to an Anchorage Police Department Nixle alert, concerned residents called police early Monday morning, after they heard shots fired, in the 3900 block of Barbara Drive.
Officers, who responded to the call, found a man kneeling in the street and bleeding from two gunshot wounds: one to the torso and one to the leg. The man, who has not yet been identified, was transported to the hospital. Police say he is expected to survive.
The man told police he was walking down the street, when a dark-colored sedan pulled up beside him. The driver, described by the victim as a Samoan male, then allegedly demanded the victim’s cell phone.
APD says the victim refused the demand, and was then shot twice by a passenger, from the backseat of the car.
The victim told police he did not personally know any of the people in the car.
This event bears some similarities to another shooting case I followed on April 4, near Mountain View Drive. In that case, which occurred almost a week prior to the Barbara Drive shooting. In that case, a car pulled up to a man walking on the street, and the driver demanded his possessions. The victim was then shot in the torso.
The series of events are not the only similar factors in these two cases. The description, offered by the Mountain View Drive victim, also mirrored the description given by Monday’s Barbara Drive victim: a Samoan male in a 4-door sedan with other passengers.
Renee Oistad, a public information officer with APD, said that she does not have any definitive information to say if the two incidents are related, yet.
“We look into crimes to see if they are related," Oistad wrote. "I do not have anything definitive at this time to say whether or not the two are related."
Regarding the Mountain View Drive shooting, police said that evidence at the scene made them believe the shooting was drug-related. However, Oistad said police “do not yet have a motive for [Monday’s Barbara Drive] shooting.” Oistad said she was unable to say what type of weapon was used in either case.
Whether the two shootings are connected or not, police say there are some steps pedestrians can take to better protect themselves against anything similar to these drive-by robberies and shootings.
“Be aware of your surroundings," Oistad said. "If you’re alone, make sure someone knows where you are.” She also said that the best thing to do if your possessions are demanded is to comply.
The APD Nixle alert said they have not been able to contact any eye witnesses, in the Barbara Drive case. Police ask the public to help and come forward with information, by calling police at 786-8900 or calling 561-STOP to remain anonymous.