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1/3/2013
Standoff lasts 8 hours

By ANDREW SHEELER

Daily News Staff Writer

Alaska State Troopers and Ketchikan police responded to a report of multiple gunshots in a Saxman home Monday, leading to an eight-hour standoff.

Jessica M. DeWitt, 23, of Saxman surrendered to police after an all-night standoff that began at 12:28 a.m. on Dec. 31 and ended at 8:36 a.m. that morning.

Troopers were notified at 12:13 a.m. by DeWitt’s mother that she had fired multiple shots inside the home they shared, causing the rest of the family to flee. Police arrived and heard several gunshots from what sounded like both a small-caliber rifle or handgun and a large-caliber rifle or shotgun coming from inside the house.

"As we attempted to set up a perimeter around the residence, several rounds were coming from inside and were penetrating the walls," Trooper James Kimura wrote in the arrest affidavit. "I could feel debris from the walls hit me and hear the sonic crack of bullets traveling in the air at close range to me." Kimura wrote that both he and the other troopers and police on-scene were in "imminent fear" for their lives.

DeWitt’s mother told the troopers that the shooting began at roughly 11 p.m. the night before, saying she’d heard as many as 15 "BB gun shots" coming from DeWitt’s bedroom. DeWitt allegedly then entered the bathroom and fired more shots. Her mother yelled at everybody to leave the house, including another adult resident and three small children.

Police contacted DeWitt’s girlfriend, who said she had left before the shooting began but that DeWitt was upset at missing a flight to Anchorage for a doctor’s appointment and had been drinking.

When DeWitt surrendered, police searched the home and found approximately 100 spent shell casings and bullet holes, as well as 100 more unspent rounds of ammunition. Bullet holes were found in the walls, doors, windows and roof. DeWitt allegedly also shot two TV sets. Both the home and the TV sets are owned by DeWitt’s mother. Police estimate the damage to be approximately $1,000 total. Police confiscated a .22 long rifle Ruger 10-22 rifle, with a 25-round magazine; a Savage 30-06 bolt-action rifle; a .22 long rifle revolver with a missing cylinder; and an empty 1.75-liter bottle of vodka.

DeWitt was taken to Ketchikan Correctional Center, where she was held on $100,000 bail.

DeWitt was arraigned Thursday on charges of second-degree weapons misconduct, fourth-degree weapons misconduct, four counts of third-degree domestic assault, five counts of reckless endangerment and third-degree domestic criminal mischief. She has another hearing scheduled for Jan. 10.