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Gun in Saturday shootout with police linked to five homicides

Anchorage Police Department

The gun used in a shootout at 5th Avenue and Cordova early Saturday is the same one used in five homicides this year, according to an Anchorage Police Department press release. Police say 40-year-old James Dale Ritchie used the gun to fire at police officers at about 4:30 a.m. Nov.12.

The incident began when police received a report of a man who left without paying his cab fare. Anchorage Police Officer Arn Salao tried to talk with the suspect who ignored him and kept walking. When Salao pulled his vehicle up to the suspect to speak with him, Ritchie began shooting at him. Salao returned fire and was joined by Sgt. Mark Patzke who also discharged his weapon. Ritchie was pronounced dead at the scene. Salao received multiple gunshot wounds and is recovering in a local hospital. The gun Ritchie used was sent to the State Crime Lab. Ballistics testing show the gun was the weapon used in the following five homicides.

July 3, 2016 – Homicide of Jason Netter and Brianna Foisy at 200 block of North Post Road

July 29, 2016 - Homicide of Treyveonkindell Thompson on the 300 block of Bolin Street 

August 28, 2016 – Homicide of Bryant De Husson and Kevin Turner at Valley of the Moon Park