On August 14, 2019, a citizen arrived at Russian Jack Elementary School at 4300 E 20th Avenue to pick up her children who were playing on the playground. While doing so the woman saw a male, wearing all camouflage, ride up to the playground on his bike. The man dismounted and then stared at the woman and her children. As the lady was getting her kids to the car, she watched the male walk over to the wood line, take what she thought was a scoped rifle out of his backpack, lay on the ground, and point it at her and her children.
As the citizen was driving away she called the principal at 4:28 PM. An APD swing shift officer was with the principle in her office when the call came in. The officer was able to get eyes on the suspect through a window. The suspect was on the playground removing his camo jacket; no weapon was seen by the officer. The school went into lockdown. While the initial officer was waiting for backup units to arrive, the suspect walked out of the officer’s view. Arriving officers saw the suspect on a bike riding away from the school; he was taken into custody without incident at 4:36 PM. The suspect told the arresting officers he had a Nerf gun. Officers did find a Nerf gun on his person. No other weapons were found.
Officers searched the inside of the school and then escorted the teachers to their cars after no further threat was found. Officers also searched the perimeter of the school, the school grounds, and the wood line where the suspect had been seen. Nothing was found. There were no students in the school at the time of the incident.
20-year-old Matthew R. Sandison was charged with Assault III, Reckless Endangerment, and Terroristic Threatening. He was remanded at the Anchorage Jail.
The Anchorage Police Department takes calls at our schools very seriously. Thank you to the citizen who saw something suspicious and reported it immediately.