Dillingham man shot in HUD midnight Wednesday

May 11, 2016

Isiah Thompson, 23, was medevaced to Anchorage after being shot, allegedly by 21-year-old Reece Johnson. Johnson was arrested peacefully after a nearly three-hour standoff with police. 

The Johnson residence remained closed off as a crime scene Wednesday morning as police waited for a warrant.
Credit KDLG

Update, 2:30 p.m.: According to a police affidavit filed with the court, the shooting victim, Isiah Thompson, suffered a gunshot wound which "had entered through his upper middle back, passed through his spine, and exited through his clavicle, shattering his clavicle," wrote officer Taner Lowery. "A doctor stated that Thompson will likely be paralyzed," he continued.

Police say, based on interviews with family members in the home Tuesday night, that the alleged shooter Reece Johnson and Thompson were in the shed behind the house, "drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana, and listening to music." Johnson told officers they had been drinking R&R whiskey, and appeared drunk. Denying his role in the shooting, Johnson said he had stepped out of the shed to smoke a cigarette, and when he went back in he found Thompson lying on his stomach on the ground, but that he hadn't heard a gunshot.

Police recovered a .40 caliber handgun with a scratched off serial number from a washing machine in the yard. 

Update, 12:30 p.m.:  Isiah Thompson is listed in "fair" condition in the ICU at Alaska Native Medical Center. Reece Johnson has been charged with first degree assault and fourth degree weapons misconduct. After serving a warrant, officers turned up a handgun hidden in a washing machine and large amounts of alcohol and marijuana.

Original story below.

DILLINGHAM:  One man is in custody and another in the ICU at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage after a shooting around midnight Wednesday in Dillingham's HUD housing area.

Isiah Thompson, 23, was taken by ambulance to Kanakanak Hospital with a gunshot wound. Based on their very preliminary investigation, police believe Thompson was shot in the back with a handgun, and the round passed through his upper torso. They were unable to obtain a statement from him before he was medevaced to Anchorage. The Kanakanak Hospital said Thompson was in "critical" condition before his flight.

DPD has five officers on duty this week, and all five were on scene through a wet, blustery three-hour standoff in HUD housing. Traffic was stopped, and nearby residents were told to remain inside and to close and lock their windows and doors. Officers responded in full "active shooter" gear, including extra protection and AR-15 long rifles. The situation ended peacefully, a "stand-up arrest", after Reece Johnson's brother Donald helped talk his brother into surrendering. Donald Johnson remained on the phone with police chief Dan Pasquariello for more than an hour.

Reece Johnson, 21, was taken to the Dillingham jail, and has so far been uncooperative with police. As of 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, no charges had been filed. The police department said it was having difficulty obtaining a warrant to search the crime scene, and would need a state trooper in Anchorage to interview the shooting victim in the hospital.

Alcohol is believed to have been a key factor in this alleged assault with a deadly weapon. Johnson and Thompson are known to be good friends, and may have served time together in the past. Both have been on the wrong side of the law several times.

"Yeah, as far as I know those two are buddies," said neighbor Steve Johnson, who was disappointed to learn details as they emerged Wednesday morning. "It's not a good thing when you hear someone that's hanging onto life like that."

Still, he wasn't surprised. "Every other night there's a lot of screaming outside. A lot of people just basically drunk, mad at each. It happens a lot on this cul-de-sac," said Johnson.

Most of DPD's officers were continuing to work the case Wednesday morning. Throughout the night they also responded to two suicide attempts, as well as a man who reported he'd been beaten by another with a golf club. When the thinly stretched department learned that man's attacker had left the scene, officers told him his case would have to wait for the moment.

This article will be updated with more information. Contact the author at dave@kdlg.org or 907.842.5281.