Anchorage Police Department officials have released photographs of weapons described to have been in the hands of Kenneth John, 26, when he was fatally shot by officers June 24.
The photographs of the weapons, previously described as “knife-bladed weapons,” include a machete and a hatchet. The weapons in the photo are shown beside a ruler in order to present scale and size.
When asked about the reddish substance that appears to be blood on the weapons in the photo, Anchorage Police Department Employees Association President Derek Hsieh speculated it was likely John’s blood, but forensics were not made available to the press.
When asked about the initial description of the "knife-bladed weapons," Hsieh said "It left the public with a misunderstanding of how dangerous the suspect actually was."
Hsieh, who is also a sergeant with the department, explained it is his job to defend his officers, and had been in daily contact with senior patrol officer Christopher Simmons, the 10-year veteran who shot John.
“(Simmons) is looking forward to returning back to his job,” Hsieh said. “He’s looking for the community to understand he did what he had to do.”
Simmons was conducting what APD officials are calling a traffic stop on a suspicious vehicle that was parked on the wrong side of the road near 12th Avenue and Hyder Street when he made contact with John. According to police officials, John exited his vehicle for reasons still not known and advanced toward Simmons holding the machete in one hand and the hatchet in the other. Police officials have stated when John continued to advance on Simmons after refusing to comply with the officer’s commands, Simmons was “compelled to discharge his weapon.”
The investigation is ongoing and will be reviewed by the Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals.