12/04/2007

Alaska man charged in violent rampage with machete

By Jeannette J. Lee
Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A car chase through downtown Anchorage ended in the arrest of a man who killed two people and seriously injured three others in a series of machete and gun attacks, police said.

Police stopped Christopher Erin Rogers Jr., 28, on Monday by ramming the stolen sport utility vehicle he was driving, Anchorage Police Department spokesman Lt. Paul Honeman said.

Rogers is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder. An arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday. Rogers was being held on $1 million bail, Anchorage District Attorney Adrienne Bachman said.

The public defender's office in Palmer, which has previously represented Rogers, said it had not received paperwork to appoint him an attorney.

According to an affidavit by police Detective Steve Hill, Rogers used a machete to kill his 51-year-old father, Christopher E. Rogers Sr., and seriously injure his father's 55-year-old girlfriend, Elann Moren, early Sunday in Palmer, about 40 miles north of Anchorage.

Rogers traveled to Anchorage after the attack in his father's truck. He took a .357 revolver and ammunition from the vehicle, the affidavit said. Once there, Rogers abandoned the truck and went in search of another vehicle, it said.

He shot Jason Wenger, 27, a graduate student at the University of Alaska Anchorage, while Wenger was sitting in his idling Ford Bronco in his driveway, according to the affidavit. Rogers opted not to take Wengers vehicle because the shots made a lot of noise and he "did not want to take on the whole neighborhood," it said.

Rogers spent the rest of Sunday sleeping in the woods near downtown Anchorage, the affidavit said. He told officers at that point he was no longer worried about being caught and "just wanted to kill a few more people along the way," it said.

Rogers shot Liz Rumsey, 33, who was walking along the icy Chester Creek Trail near a quiet upper-middle-class neighborhood north of Westchester Lagoon. Rumsey underwent surgery and is expected to recover, police said.

On Monday morning, Rogers repeatedly shot 43-year-old Tamas Deak after Deak turned on his car and left it to idle, police said.

Deak was hospitalized in critical condition but was expected to survive, police said.

Deak's wife called 911 and police sent at least 50 detectives and patrol officers to the area, said Honeman. Police arrested Rogers after a short car chase through Anchorage during the morning rush. One officer was injured during the chase.

Rogers previously has faced charges of harassment, driving under the influence, assault and arson, according to the charging documents.

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