ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 21-year-old man who had argued with homeless people near his workplace allegedly returned to the area over the weekend and fired a long gun several times, killing one and injuring four others, according to charging documents in the case.
Anthony Lee Herring has been charged with first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and counts of weapons misconduct and tampering with evidence.
He made his initial appearance Sunday in jail court. Online court records did not list an attorney for him on Monday.
According to the charging documents, police responded to the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Gambell Street in downtown Anchorage about 2:45 a.m. Saturday. They found three people shot on the south side of a former state office building and another on the north side of the building, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Officers were then dispatched to a nearby Ramada Inn, where another man sought help after being shot in the head, according to the charging documents written by Detective Christine Roberts. The man told officers he had been driving when he was shot, and police found a bullet hole in that car’s windshield.
Two witnesses described a gray SUV in the area, and one said it belonged to an employee at a nearby gas station, the documents say.
“The driver had gotten into a verbal altercation the day prior with some homeless people who were throwing knives at a wooden pole,” Roberts wrote, quoting a witness.
Herring was detained when an officer at the shooting scene saw him return to the gas station Saturday afternoon.
In interviews with police, he said he had been at home Friday night but police collected surveillance footage from his apartment complex that showed him leaving about 1:45 a.m. Saturday. He returned just after 3 a.m. with what appeared to be a long rifle, the charging documents said.
When confronted with the video, he admitted he and his girlfriend had left the apartment for a drive.
His girlfriend later told police they were near the gas station downtown when they observed homeless people, the charging documents say. She “later admitted to detectives that it was Herring that fired the shots,” the documents say.
Police identified the woman killed as Jaclyn Welcome, 37. Another woman and three men were treated for critical injuries and were still hospitalized, the prosecutor said Sunday.
Welcome’s family described Herring’s actions as “pure evil” during Sunday’s arraignment.