Armed standoff ends peacefully

21-year-old man taken to hospital for evaluation


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Anchorage Police and ambulances responded to a report of an armed and suicidal man parked in his vehicle near Mile 8 of Eagle River Road on March 30. The road was closed for several hours while negotiators successfully talked the man into giving up.

STAR PHOTO BY MATT TUNSETH

An armed 21-year-old man forced police to close Eagle River Road for much of the morning on Friday, March 30, while negotiators successfully talked him out of committing suicide.

According to Anchorage Police spokeswoman Anita Shell, the man surrendered to police without incident shortly after noon.

Shell said police were notified at around 4:30 a.m. Friday morning that a man was threatening to harm himself in a vehicle near Mile 8 Eagle River Road.

"We got a phone call from one of his relatives that said he was despondent and having some personal problems," Shell said during a press conference near the North Fork Eagle River campground Friday morning as the standoff unfolded.

Negotiators spoke with the man at length via cell phone, Shell said.

"The negotiators who have been talking to him say he's hung up on them a couple times," Shell said at around 10:30 a.m.

The man was alone in his vehicle and armed with a handgun, Shell said.

Anyone trying to get past Mile 7.4 of the road was turned back while the incident played out. That also meant no one further up the road could leave the area, either.

At the Eagle River Nature Center, winter caretaker Jerry Hernandez said the center was open for business all morning, but that none of the regular employees were able to make it into work at the center, located at the end of the road, while the road was closed.

“It’s pretty quiet up here,” Hernandez said at around 11 a.m.

In a press release issued Friday afternoon, Shell said the man gave himself up peacefully and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. She said charges are not expected, and that the man’s name will not be released to the public.

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