At 10:54 PM on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Anchorage Police responded to the area of Ambassador Drive and Tudor Centre Drive in reference to shots fired. Initial indications are that ANMC (Alaska Native Medical Center) Security confronted an adult male vehicle prowler in the hospital’s parking garage. Upon contact the suspect pulled out a handgun from his waistband. The security officer backed away and called for help as the male, later identified as 23-year-old Matthew D. Johnston, fled on foot. While waiting for APD to arrive, security officers followed Johnston from a distance so they could keep an eye on which direction he was heading in. Johnston noticed he was being followed and fired two shots into the air. As Johnston continued to flee down a trail, he fired two more shots. There were no injuries.
Multiple APD officers arrived in the area and set up a perimeter. UPD Officers (from the UAA campus) were also notified. As the search for Johnston was being conducted, UPD stated over the radio they had someone matching the suspect’s description in custody at 40th and Wellness. APD officers responded to their location; the suspect was subsequently identified as Johnston. The arrest happened at 11:07 PM.
APD took custody of Johnston and placed him in the back of a patrol car. Once inside, Johnston began kicking at the window. Johnston was removed from the vehicle, outfitted with full restraints, and placed back in the police vehicle. Several minutes later the leg restraints were removed once Johnston became cooperative. Johnston was subsequently transported to the Anchorage Jail and remanded on an outstanding warrant. He was additionally charged with Assault III and four counts of Misconduct Involving a Weapon IV.
The Anchorage Police Department is grateful for the help of our UPD partners in apprehending the armed suspect. APD is also thankful for the excellent witness statements and cooperation provided by ANMC security officers.