No injuries, no arrests after downtown altercation leads to gunfire

Some residents in the downtown area got an abrupt wake-up call Sunday morning, as gunshots rang out on Harris Street at just before 5 a.m., police say.

At 4:55 a.m., according to a Juneau Police Department press release, several people called to report gunshots being fired near the 400 block of Harris Street. Police say they arrived at the scene and found several people who had been involved, and confirmed that nobody had been injured.

Police found that there had been a verbal altercation in the area between a 42-year-old Juneau resident who lives in the 400 block of East Street and at least three visitors to a house in the 400 block of Harris Street, according to the release. Lt. Krag Campbell said with the case still under investigation, he couldn’t release the exact address of the house on Harris Street.

Police learned that the altercation stemmed from the neighbor complaining of loud noise coming from the visitors, the release states, and the argument eventually led to one of the visitors and the neighbor both firing guns. When police arrived on the scene, they found a gun in possession of the neighbor, the release states.

Campbell said the other shooter appears to have left the scene before police arrived. Campbell wouldn’t comment on whether the police have a lead on the identity of the missing shooter, but said there does not appear to be a present threat to the community.

“I think it’s an isolated incident based on an altercation between the two groups,” Campbell said.

Campbell said police arrived and interviewed 10 people at the scene, detaining three or four of them who were directly involved in the altercation. No arrests were made, the release states.

One neighbor, Andrew Heist, who lives on Basin Road, said in an interview Monday he was awake at the time because he needed to drive to the airport at 5 a.m. Heist said he heard what he believed to be five shots, all in very quick succession, and saw police respond to the scene quickly.

Heist has lived at his current house for two years, he said, and has observed problems in the 400 block of Harris Street for that whole time. He said there are usually smaller disturbances in the area, but this one stands out as worrisome.

“It’s doing a lot of bad for the downtown neighborhood,” Heist said of the string of disturbances in that block, “and I hope there’s some way to come with a resolution to make this neighborhood safer.”

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.

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