Jason Barnum, suspect in Anchorage police shooting, charged with attempted murder
(CBS/AP) ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Jason Barnum, a 37-year-old Alaska man, has been charged with attempted murder and two counts of assault after he allegedly shot at police last week during a standoff at an Anchorage hotel.
Authorities say Barnum shot and wounded an Anchorage police officer in the shootout at the Merrill Field Inn on Thursday.
He was arrested Friday morning after his release from a hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to his arm. The heavily tattooed Anchorage man was ordered held on $500,000 cash-only bail.
Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said at a news conference he could only speculate on why Barnum started firing at officers from a hotel bathroom. He said Barnum was a heroin user who showed symptoms of drug use after the incident.
"Someone just blasting away from behind a door, that's unusual," Mew said. "And of course they responded in kind, rather quickly."
Three officers were investigating vehicle break-ins and burglaries in south Anchorage. The burglaries occurred at homes where residents were present, Mew said.
Police spotted a vehicle connected to the burglaries in a parking lot near the hotel. They reviewed hotel surveillance video and saw a man carrying a tote from the vehicle to Room 209, charging documents said.
Officers then went to the room to investigate. Once inside, they spotted a stolen gun, Mew said. They handcuffed a man in the room, Sam Williams Jr., and spoke to a woman, Stephanie Callis, who was making retching sounds and pretending to be sick in the bathroom, Mew said.
Officers ordered her out of the bathroom. As she emerged, Barnum began firing a stolen gun from behind her, prosecutors said. The officers fired back and exited, taking Williams and Callis with them.
One of their shots hit Barnum, fracturing his right arm, authorities said.
According to CBS affiliate KTVA, the officer injured in the shootout was identified as Dan Thyen, a 15-and-a-half-year veteran of the department.
The report of an officer wounded drew a swarm of other officers to the scene. Police evacuated guests from other hotel rooms and closed Fifth Avenue, the main road leading from north Anchorage to downtown.
SWAT officers approached the hotel room at about 1 p.m. Officers spoke to Barnum through the door and he surrendered, Mew said.
All three people in the room had warrants out for their arrest, and Williams and Callis also were taken into custody. Lt. Anthony Henry, who oversees burglary investigations, said additional charges are pending.
Barnum said he had not worked in the past six months.
The charging document said Barnum has previous convictions for burglary, forgery, theft, assault and resisting arrest.
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