ANCHORAGE — Last winter, Mikel Sawyer, 29, was living in a jail cell when he heard a close friend had been shot and killed in an encounter with Anchorage police. Raised in Southern California, Sawyer had been in and out of juvenile facilities and jail since he was 14.
After running from charges in California, he’d ended up in Alaska. Here, he got into more trouble for theft while addicted to alcohol and methamphetamine. After news of the death, grief and rage consumed him. He couldn’t see outside of it, and he wanted to send a message to the world.