SPD Sends Detectives to Anchorage to Assist With Officer Shooting Investigation

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee January 12, 2010

SPD has dispatched a detective and detective sergeant to assist in the investigation of a drive-by shooting of a police officer in Anchorage, Alaska.

On Saturday, Anchorage police officer Jason Allen was shot five times by a gunman who ambushed him while he was sitting inside his patrol car. The attack bears some similarities to the fatal shooting of Seattle officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween.

Police say they don't yet know a clear motive for the shooting, though they believe Allen was targeted solely because of his uniform. It's also not known if the shooter and the others in his vehicle are gang members or someone else with a grudge against police.

"Looking at the totality of the things we know, this smacks of a gang-involved drive-by shooting on a police officer. And that, to me, is just highly unusual for Anchorage," said Scott Lofthouse, the Anchorage police gang intelligence officer. "If this does turn out to be gang-related, it is a tremendous escalation of violence, because basically they declared war on cops."

Seattle Police Department spokesman Jeff Kappel could not confirm whether the two detectives participated in the investigation of Brenton's murder.

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