Gas station collision leads to chase, standoff

By Kirsten Swann

Several Mountain View roads were closed for more than an hour Thursday morning as the Anchorage Police Department worked to catch a suspect who allegedly threatened an officer with a gun.

The incident began sometime around 9:30 a.m. at the Shell gas station on the corner of Mountain View Drive and Price Street. Glen Ellis was working at the station when the male suspect, who has yet to be identified, arrived with his girlfriend and crashed into a vehicle parked in the lot. Ellis said he went out to confront the man: When a police officer arrived shortly thereafter, Ellis said the suspect took off running east on Mountain View Drive. While he never saw the man threaten the officer, Ellis said he later retrieved a handgun magazine from the street outside the gas station.

An hour after the gas station collision, the blocks between N. Bragaw Street, Mountain View Drive, Peterkin Avenue and N. Klevin Street remained crowded with dozens of police, including heavily armed SWAT members. According to a brief written statement from APD, the suspect had barricaded himself inside an apartment building on N. Flower Street.

InsooA few yards down the road, the only employee at Surf Laundry & Dry Cleaners locked the front door and watched the police activity through the window.

Insoo, who’s worked at the corner laundromat for about four years now, said she saw the suspect run past her window, then watched as the neighborhood lit up with police lights. She said she doesn’t understand why things like this seem to keep happening in the neighborhood.

Wilbur Patterson, who lives several blocks away from the scene of Thursday’s standoff, was walking through the neighborhood when he saw the SWAT team surrounding the building on N. Flower Street. He’s a frequent customer at the corner gas station and said he knows Ellis well. Like Insoo at the laundromat, Patterson has seen plenty of police activity in the neighborhood over the years.

He has a theory.

“Mountain View is beautiful,” he said. “It’s just some of the people that are coming up in here — they’re all over town, they ain’t just in Mountain View.”

Nearly two hours after the collision at the gas station, a passing police officer said APD was still working to take the suspect into custody.

Around 11:45 a.m., Mountain View Drive reopened to traffic. Just after 2 p.m. APD announced the suspect — later identified as 26-year-old Eric Nebreja — was taken into custody after gas was deployed in the N. Flower Street apartment. Nobody was injured during the incident, police said, and Nebreja faces charges of weapons misconduct, first-degree burglary, resisting arrest, third-degree criminal mischief, third-degree assault and intent to distribute heroin.

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