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September 17, 2012
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Man with eye tattoo shoots Alaska officer at hotel

Chief said suspect was "just blasting away from behind a door" to the bathroom

By PoliceOne Staff

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A man with distinctive tattoos on his face and eyes who opened fire on police from the bathroom of a hotel room was arraigned Friday on attempted murder and assault charges.

Police said at a news conference they do not know why Jason Barnum fired at police, but that they were forced to respond with force.

"Someone just blasting away from behind a door, that's unusual," Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew said. "And of course they responded in kind, rather quickly."

The incident began Thursday when officers nearby the hotel spotted a car with a suspected connection to recent residential burglaries. In hotel surveillance video, a man was seen carrying something from the car to a room, which officers entered and found a stolen weapon.

Police handcuffed one man while a woman in the bathroom spoke to officers, who ordered her to come out. According to charging documents, Barnum fired from another stolen weapon as she emerged.

The officers fired back, striking Barnum in the arm, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. An officer suffered a graze wound to his back.

Barnum, a known heroin user, was convinced to surrender by SWAT officers and arrested. Mew said he may have been high at the time.

When asked during his arraignment if he wanted a lawyer, Barnum responded, "Sure, why not."






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