Bars and restaurants near the harbormaster’s office were on lockdown Saturday night after reports of gunshots around 9 p.m. According to Lieutenant Francis de la Fuente, public information officer for Kodiak Police Department, an altercation between a male cab driver and another man set off the incident, but no one actually got shot.
“We responded to [the] area and found a victim laying on the ground near the harbor masters office,” said De la Fuente. “The victim said he was the one who shot off rounds trying to stop the suspect … he was being beaten up, basically.”
De la Fuente says the cab driver fired his gun apparently in self defense while being assaulted by the other man, the suspect. Police identified the suspect and took him into custody. He is currently facing multiple charges of felony assault.
The cab driver was medevaced to Anchorage for treatment of his assault injuries following the incident. De la Fuente says it was an isolated incident and there is no ongoing safety risk.
The altercation started, according to De la Fuente, with the suspect urinating inside a car and threatening the cab driver. He couldn’t confirm whether the car in question was the cab driver’s car.
KPD, state troopers and fire department personnel were all on-scene to help with the investigation and crowd control. De la Fuente says the initial chaos made it difficult to find out what had happened, but cooperation on all sides made the process much smoother.
“The delay was because … we didn’t know what was happening, so the guys worked an awesome job by trying to keep everybody out. The public’s cooperation staying outside the area, inside the bars, that helped us a lot.”
Anna Maria Kaloumenou, who owns the restaurant Aquamarine across the street, told KMXT she and her granddaughter were trying to leave when they saw responders loading someone on a stretcher into an ambulance, but said “two police officers came running towards us telling us, ‘go back inside now and lock your doors!’”
Kaloumenou said she later saw officers handcuffing someone outside the Safeway liquor store next door, and the lockdown ended shortly after. Henry’s Great Alaskan Restaurant, Tony’s Bar and The Mecca were among the other businesses on lockdown. The precautionary measure lasted about an hour.
The incident is still being investigated. De la Fuente says if any witnesses have additional information, they should call KPD at (907) 486-8000.