Police continue to investigate Eagle River murder

The Anchorage Police Department has released the name of the man who was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Wood River Park Apartments last Friday.

APD officers conducting a welfare check, based on a phone call from an anonymous source, found Marcus Dushun Cosby, Jr., 24, lying dead outside the apartment complex at about 3:30 a.m. March 11.

According to an APD press release issued Monday, Cosby died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The identity of the victim is the only information police are releasing at this time, according to APD public affairs officer Rene Oistad.

Other information not being released or commented upon at this time are the following: the victim’s race, whether he lived in the apartment complex, the number of gunshot wounds, the type of firearm suspected in the shooting, and whether the caller who requested the welfare check is linked to the shooting.

“We are not releasing any further information at this time, and we are not making any comment other than to release the name of the victim,” Oistad said.

She was able to provide a timeline as to the time frame for the APD’s crime scene unit that processed the scene. Arrival was between 5:30 and 6 a.m. with departure not until nearly 4 p.m. on Friday.

Oistad also did not know the current condition of an Animal Control officer bitten by a canine owned by one of the residents in the apartment complex. The officer was bitten last Friday afternoon while searching the house when the dog escaped from its kennel. The dog was taken to the Anchorage Animal Care and Control for rabies observation, according to Laura Atwood, animal control spokesperson. No information on whether the canine’s owner was cited was available.

Anchorage police quickly labeled Friday morning’s scene as more than a welfare check.

By 8 a.m. Friday morning, Jennifer Castro, head of APD’s public affairs unit, said, “We are treating it as a suspicious death investigation. Visibly at the scene regarding this death we can see suspicious circumstances surrounding it.”

While police aren’t releasing any further information regarding the type of weapon used in the shooting, several residents of the apartment complex posted on Facebook that they heard gunshots around midnight.

Luis Tapia, a resident in the Wood River complex, told The Star via Facebook messenger that he heard gunshots at approximately midnight and that two vehicles left the scene shortly after the gunshots were fired. He posted on a public timeline that he heard seven gunshots.

Melissa Goins also heard the gunshots. She posted on her Facebook timeline that she heard “about 10 gunshots last night in Eagle River.”

Friday morning’s homicide is the first in Eagle River for 2016 but the second in less than five months.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 30, 2015, Christian Spencer Ballinger, 26, died from a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Police believe it was inflicted by a .45 caliber Springfield 1911 found near the scene wrapped in a sweatshirt worn earlier in the day and the night before by Aaron Nathaniel Trejo, also 26. Trejo was arrested on Nov. 4, 2015, at a Holiday gas station on Tudor Road in Anchorage. He was charged with two counts of murder, and additionally charged with tampering with evidence and assault in the third degree.

Police ask anyone with information regarding the March 11 shooting of Cosby to contact Anchorage Crimestoppers at 561-STOP or go online to www.anchoragecrimestoppers.com where tips can be reported anonymously.

• Amy Armstrong is a freelance reporter for the Chugiak-Eagle River Star. She can be reached at amyarmstrong@gci.net or online at facebook.com/pages/Armstrong-Communications-Words-by-Amy-Marie.

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