Armed standoff ends peacefully

Friday, March 30, 2012 - 10:00
Anchorage Police shut down Eagle River Road Friday morning to deal with an armed man in a vehicle near Mile 8.5. Police say the man gave himself up without incident around noon, and the road was reopened at 12:15 p.m.

An armed 21-year-old man forced police to close Eagle River Road for much of Friday morning 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 a relative of the man called police at around 4:30 a.m. Friday morning to report the man was threatening to harm himself.

"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 could leave the area, as well.

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.

"It's pretty quiet up here," he said.

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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