Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Murkowski Campaign Worker Apparently Wounded By Stray Bullet In Midtown Anchorage Gun Battle

This news just in from KFQD radio in Anchorage, Alaska. A campaign worker waving signs for Frank Murkowski was apparently wounded by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooting across from Frank Murkowski's Anchorage campaign headquarters on Northern Lights Boulevard across from The Mall at Sears.

According to KFQD, the occupants of two different vehicles were firing at each other while driving near The Mall at Sears at the corner of Northern Lights and the New Seward Highway at 3:15 P.M. Alaska time today (August 22nd, 2006). Campaign workers for various candidates were waving campaign signs at passing motorists during this primary election day. One person, confirmed over the phone by Governor Frank Murkowski as a Murkowski campaign worker, was wounded by a stray bullet. He stumbled and collapsed upon entry into the campaign office. He is now receiving paramedic treatment at the scene and will be transported to hospital. Another person reportedly checked in at a local hospital for treatment. Neither victim has been identified. Anchorage police have detained all three suspects at the scene, according to APD Lieutenant Paul Honeman. He could not confirm if the shooting was gang or drug-related.

Governor Murkowski expressed frustration at length over the increase in these type of shootings. He opined that even if all the appropriate laws are in place, it does no good if we don't intervene in the lives of troubled kids earlier in childhood. However, at least our current mayor, Mark Begich, recognizes there is a gang problem and has called upon community leaders to start preaching some responsibility. Begich's efforts to improve police protection are slowly bearing fruit; APD now has 386 sworn officers. However, we need more consistent and responsible prosecution and sentencing. In July, a Peruvian national was allowed to plea-bargain kidnapping and rape charges down to a single count of sexual abuse of a minor and get a three-year slap on the wrist. Our enforcement actions will not work well without responsible and effective adjudication.

If there are any significant updates or changes to this story on tonight's local news, I'll update and repost this post.

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