The daughter of a 37-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in a Douglas apartment Thursday morning says her father was senselessly slain over a stolen cell phone and an iPod.
“I’m angry that it happened,” said 21-year-old Ellen Marie Sharclane Gomez, the oldest of Jordon J. Sharclane’s five children. “It was all over a phone and an iPod.”
Juneau police on Thursday arrested 19-year-old Kevin Scott Nauska for first-degree murder in connection to Sharclane’s death. Nauska was also charged with attempted first-degree murder for stabbing Sharclane’s 19-year-old son, Michael Sharclane, who is still recovering from injuries at Bartlett Regional Hospital.
In a phone interview Thursday afternoon, Gomez alleged Nauska previously “robbed” her brother, Michael, and stole his phone and iPod. She said her brother and dad then went to Cedar Park where Nauska was at Thursday morning to try to recover the stolen property.
“It turned into a big fight, and that’s when they got stabbed,” she said. “My brother was stabbed twice in the front and twice in the back. My dad was stabbed in his chest and his side.”
Gomez added that her dad died protecting her brother. Another Sharclane family member was there at the scene and witnessed everything, she said.
Police have not yet confirmed the family’s version of events, and charging documents in the case have not yet been filed. Juneau Police Department spokeswoman Erann Kalwara said police are still interviewing people involved in the case.
“I can’t share any of that yet,” Kalwara said when reached by phone Thursday afternoon. “It’s still very much being actively investigated.”
It’s not yet clear in police reports whether Nauska lived at the Cedar Park apartment, but police confirmed he was inside it, Kalwara said.
Police and Capital City Fire/Rescue medics responded to a 911 call reporting a stabbing at Cedar Park in the 3400 block of Foster Avenue, an affordable housing apartment complex managed by the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, a little before 4 a.m. Thursday.
Jordon Sharclane was pronounced dead at the scene and his son Michael was taken to BRH with serious injuries, police said. Hospital spokesman Jim Strader confirmed a patient meeting the description of the younger Sharclane was in the hospital’s critical care unit but was in stable condition.
JPD Thursday afternoon announced Nauska was arrested on the murder and attempted murder charges, as well as first- and third-degree assault and tampering with evidence. He was taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center and held without bail.
On Thursday afternoon, members of the Sharclane family — an Alaska Native family originally from Hoonah — gathered in the recreation room of the Mountain View senior living apartments to be together.
“Everybody is just in shock,” said Myrna Brown, Jordan Sharclane’s mother.
Overwhelmed by grief, she sat on a couch in the room with a tissue in her lap. She was comforted on one side by her late son’s mother-in-law and on the other side by his wife, Jenny, who was cradling her 3-month-old granddaughter, Gwendolyn. Jenny Sharclane said she and her husband have been together for 24 years and married for 16. They met in Juneau in 1999.
“I feel immense hurt, but I feel the most hurt for the grandbabies,” Brown said, wiping away tears. She was referring the five children and the three grandchildren her son leaves behind.
The Empire has previously profiled Brown, who has suffered an incredible amount of loss that left her and her family homeless. Jordan Sharclane is the second son she has lost — she lost her son Anthony in 2011, as well as her husband and her mom back-to-back. She has lived at an affordable housing complex run by St. Vincent de Paul in recent years.
The family looked at pictures of Jordan Sharclane on a television screen. He is shown wearing Seattle Seahawks apparel in some of them; in others, he’s seen goofing around with his children and grandchildren.
“He always made everybody laugh, he would always joke around and play around, he was just an outgoing person, he was loving and caring,” Gomez said. She recalled that “just the other day, we were all playing hide and seek at the Gastineau School. He would go swimming with us, play tag with us.”
Jordan Sharclane, of the Eagle and Bear moieties, was born in Hoonah and lived there until he moved to Juneau with his family in 1999. He’s well known in town for working at the Tlingit-Haida Community Bingo and Mca Bingo in the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall.
He leaves behind his mother, wife, five children, (Ellen, Michael, Sarah, Veronica and Keisha, three grandchildren (Anthony, 4, Michael, 2, and Gwendolyn, 3 months), and three brothers.
The family said 19-year-old Michael Sharclane is expected to recover from his injuries.
Juneau District Attorney James Scott said Nauska will likely be arraigned in court today, at which point he will be appointed an attorney or asked to hire one.
Sharclane’s death marks the fourth homicide in Juneau this year, but all four deaths have taken place within a seven-week span.
It’s a drastic change from the norm for Alaska’s capital city, which rarely sees homicides and takes pride in being a safe community. There was only one homicide in Juneau last year; the last homicide before that was in 2010.
In October, a man was shot execution-style inside a Mendenhall Valley trailer park and arrested the suspect on suspicion of first-degree murder, according to police and prosecutors. Then last month, two people were then shot and killed inside a Douglas Island condominium, which police are investigating as a double murder.
Sharclane’s death also comes on the heels of Juneau Mayor Greg Fisk’s death, who died alone at his Starr Hill home on Monday. Police at first said they could not rule out foul play due to injuries found on Fisk’s body, but on Wednesday announced the autopsy preliminary results indicated his death was by natural causes and the injuries caused by a fall.