Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reward For Information Leading To Arrest Of Shooter Of Anchorage Police Officer Jason Allen Now Up To $25,000, Thanks To Alaskan Generosity

The reward for information that would lead to the arrest of those involving in the shooting of Anchorage Police Officer Jason Allen has now been bumped up from $10,000 to $25,000, thanks to the generosity of numerous Alaskans who have donated to the fund, including hundreds of contributions from residents, community organizations, the mayor's office, and various businesses. Donations are also being taken in a separate fund for Allen and his family. Full stories from the Anchorage Daily News and KTUU Channel 2.

The Anchorage Daily News also has a dedicated index page of all stories on this shooting.

For those unfamiliar with the case, at around 2:00 A.M. on January 9th, 2010, after spending 45 minutes responding to and resolving a nearby family dispute, the 47-year-old Allen, an eight-year veteran of the force, was sitting in his cruiser on Medfra Street between 14th and 15th Avenue in the Fairview neighborhood filling out paperwork. At least two unidentified individuals driving a vehicle described as a as a late-1980s to mid-1990s model, dark-colored, four-door sedan, possibly a Chevrolet, approached Officer Allen and fired five times, severely wounding him. Bullets struck the officer's arms and torso. The shooting is not considered to be connected to the family dispute at this time. Officer Allen has since had four separate surgeries, and it is feared he might end up permanently disabled, according to Anchorage Police Department Employees Association (APDEA) chief Sgt. Derek Hsieh, who just visited Allen in hospital of January 20th. But, according to KTUU, a full recovery is not out of the question, and Officer Allen looks forward to eventually returning to duty.

Police have interviewed at least two people who saw part of the attack, and are analyzing several surveillance videos taken that night. They speculate that some people who know the shooters are scared to come forward out of fear of retaliation. Tips from the public continue to filter in. The Anchorage Police Department has also gotten help from the FBI, the Alaska State Troopers, and the Seattle Police Department.

As for the Fairview neighborhood where the shooting occurred, Sharon Chamard, the Fairview Community Council president who sometimes drives the neighborhood as part of the local community patrol, said she hasn't seen any signs of gang activity in Fairview, where Medfra is one of the main arteries for pedestrians and cars, and considers that part of Fairview to be quite safe.

One noteworthy example of Alaskan generosity in fund-raising for this case was a five-hour benefit concert held on January 18th at Chilkoot Charlie's. Roughly 40 people watched the band Art of Treason early in the concert. Along with collecting donations, the benefit sought to raise money for Allen's family by auctioning donated items such as day-spa gift certificates and a night at the Hilton. The local Kaladi Brothers coffee shops are also taking donations for the family fund for Allen; they've raised $2,329 as of this post.

The public can contribute to the Jason Allen Reward Fund or the Jason Allen Family Support Fund at any Key Bank branch. You can find the location of the nearest Key Bank by entering your zip code at this page of their website. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 786-8860.

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