Charges: Anchorage man argued with homeless people before returning and opening fire

Anchorage Police Department downtown headquarters on June 9, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

An Anchorage man argued with a group of homeless people in downtown Anchorage on Friday before returning to the area early the next morning with a gun, killing one woman and wounding several others, according to charging documents released Monday.

Police arrested 21-year-old Anthony Lee Herring late Saturday. He’s charged with killing 37-year-old Jaclyn Welcome, and he faces attempted murder charges for shooting four other people.

According to the charges, police got called about the shooting near 4th Avenue and Gambell Street at 2:43 a.m. Saturday.

Witnesses told police they’d seen a distinctive gray SUV in the area right before the shooting, and they believed it belonged to an employee of a nearby gas station, the charges said. Witnesses also told police that they had seen the same employee, later identified as Herring, in a fight on Friday with a group of homeless people “who had been throwing knives at a nearby pole.”

Herring told police that he’d been at home all evening Friday and hadn’t driven his vehicle, according to the charges. But he later changed his story when he was shown video of what appeared to be his car pulling into his apartment around 3 a.m. Saturday, the charges said. He then told police that he and his girlfriend had been driving around smoking marijuana, but that he had nothing to do with the shooting.

According to charges, Herring’s girlfriend told police that they’d ended up at the Tesoro gas station where Herring worked on Friday night. She said that Herring complained about the homeless people nearby and “expressed anger and frustration at them.”

“She stated that while sitting in his truck, they heard a shot nearby that sounded close,” said the charging document. “She stated she dove into the backseat to hide, and she heard multiple shots being fired from the truck she was in.”

According to the charges, she later admitted to police that she knew Herring had fired the shots from the truck. They drove back to Herring’s apartment, and she said Herring did not say anything about the shooting to her after it happened, said the charging document.

Herring faces nine felony charges related to the shooting, including for first-degree murder. On Monday, he was being held at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

Alaska Public Media

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