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Anchorage Police Officer Shot Multiple Times During Standoff With Barricaded Gunman

Anchorage, AK – An Anchorage police officer was shot multiple times while trying to apprehend a barricaded suspect early Friday morning, according to police.

The incident began at approximately 2:44 a.m. on March 18, when police were dispatched to a report of an “assault with a hammer” at an apartment complex located in the 800-block of East 10th Avenue, the Anchorage Police Department (APD) said in a press release on Monday.

Officers arrived at the scene and made contact with the injured victim shortly before the suspect walked out of an adjacent apartment.

They attempted to speak with the suspect, later identified as 28-year-old Dillon Spring, but Spring ignored them and went back inside his apartment, according to the APD.

Officers repeatedly tried to make contact to no avail, so they obtained a search warrant for Spring’s residence.

Police repeatedly announced themselves after obtaining the warrant, but he refused to respond, according to the APD.

They ultimately broke down the apartment door with a battering ram shortly before 4:22 a.m., the Anchorage Daily News reported.

They then discovered Spring had pushed furniture in front of the door, barricading himself inside.

Police removed the door from the frame and began disassembling the barricade, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

After creating a path into the residence, three officers positioned themselves behind an officer holding a tactical shield while a fifth officer continued to move furniture, according to police.

Spring opened fire on them as soon as they entered the apartment, APD Homicide Unit Detective Jeffrey Elbic wrote in the criminal complaint, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Investigators said Spring fired over 20 rounds during the attack.

“He fired at every single officer that was present,” APD Chief Michael Kerle said during a press conference on Friday afternoon, according to KTUU. “This wasn’t an act of just firing on one officer. This suspect fired on five officers with the intent of killing five police officers.”

The officer carrying the tactical shield was shot repeatedly in his lower body, the APD said.

Another officer, identified as APD Officer Brandon Schafer, returned fire but did not hit the gunman.

“Officers were able to extricate the wounded officer and themselves to a position of safety,” the APD said.

The wounded officer was carried out of the apartment complex by his fellow officers, who proceeded to render emergency aid, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Among those who helped save the officer was a citizen ride-along, Chief Kerle told KTUU.

“He and other officers that extricated the injured officer performed first aid and did a wonderful job in helping to save his life,” the chief told reporters.

The wounded officer was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, KTUU reported.

He is expected to survive, but remains in serious condition.

“The officer and his family will need time to heal,” Chief Kerle said. “Please respect their privacy during this time.”

The victim who was beaten with the hammer during the initial altercation with Spring suffered non-life threatening injuries, according to KTUU.

The standoff continued back at the apartment, prompting a Crisis Negotiation Team and the APD SWAT to respond to the scene, the APD said in the press release.

The suspect was allegedly seen “handling an assault rifle” during the lengthy standoff, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Spring eventually surrendered at approximately 1:24 p.m., after “a lengthy negotiation,” according to police.

He allegedly told officers he was “sorry” as he left the apartment, but did not make any additional statements, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Phillip Elrod, the son of the apartment complex owner, said Spring was recently served an eviction notice for failing to pay rent.

Elrod said the suspect had been “increasingly short-tempered with other tenants in the building” prior to the standoff, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Spring was booked into the Anchorage Jail on five counts of attempted murder, five counts of attempted assault, two counts of first-degree assault, six counts of third-degree assault, and four outstanding warrants.

His other open cases pertained to charges of reckless endangerment, fourth-degree weapons misconduct, third-degree assault, and violating conditions of release, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The Anchorage District Court set his total bail at $600,000 on March 19, the APD said in a press release on Monday.

The bail amount includes a $300,000 cash appearance bond and a $300,000 cash performance bond.

Spring would be placed on electronic monitoring house arrest under the supervision of the Pretrial Enforcement Division and would need to obtain a court-approved third-party custodian as additional conditions of his release.

A fundraiser established to help the wounded APD officer in the wake of the attack has raised over $17,000 so far.

“The officer’s recovery will require a significant time commitment by his spouse and family,” the fundraising page read. “The officer’s spouse will be unable to work for an extended time while providing care for the officer. In addition, the family will incur many unexpected expenses as they adjust to the injured officer’s physical challenges during the recovery.”

Additional details regarding the wounded officer’s injuries and recovery prognosis have not been released.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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