|On the left, sketch of the killer, on the right, James Earl Ritchie.|
A gun used to shoot a police officer Saturday morning was the same weapon used in at least five homicides in the city so far this year, including two unsolved double homicides, Anchorage police said Tuesday.
The Anchorage Police Department officer who was wounded, Arn Salao, was shot four times and underwent two surgeries after the confrontation, but was recovering and expected to survive. The suspect, 40-year-old James Dale Ritchie, was killed after Salao and Sgt. Marc Patzke — who arrived during the shootout — returned fire, police said.
"We know from our investigation in the last 78 hours that the gun used to attempt to kill officer Salao was the same gun used in five other homicides here in Anchorage in 2016," APD Chief Chris Tolley said at a news conference Tuesday.
The police are not yet closing the investigation, as there are still a few threads to tie up, but it appears that Anchorage residents can relax a little.
For now at least.