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Man charged in fatal warehouse shooting

Oscar J. Lajoie, 29, identified by witnesses as shooter, charges say

Posted: Monday, April 06, 2009

ANCHORAGE - Shots fired through the door of a warehouse killed a high school student attending a party, according to Anchorage police, who have arrested a suspected gunman.

Oscar J. Lajoie, 29, appeared in an Anchorage court Saturday to answer to charges of second-degree murder and assault in the shooting March 15 of Dimond High School student Colton Crow and two others.

Lajoie's bail was set at $500,000.

Lajoie has a record that includes arrests for weapons and drug violations and driving while intoxicated.

According to charges filed by prosecutor Aaron Sperbeck, the incident began with a fight that did not involve Lajoie at a party in the warehouse off the Seward Highway on Anchorage's east side.

Chad Zurfluh tried to break up the fight but was struck and thrown out by several men, he told police.

Zurfluh called his sister to pick him up at a nearby gas station. She showed up with her boyfriend, Lajoie.

Zurfluh figured he could take his assailants in "a fair fight" with Lajoie's help, so the group returned to the warehouse, according to the charges.

The people at the warehouse saw them coming and locked the door. Zurfluh told investigators he had his hand on the doorknob when shots rang out from behind.

"He looked to his right and said he saw (Lajoie) shooting at the door," the charges said.

One bullet hit Crow in the head. He was declared brain dead the next day and died, Sperbeck said.

Two others in the warehouse were hit. Robert Lee, 21, was wounded in his right thigh. Alexandru Hildan, 22, was shot in the right hand. They were treated and released at a hospital.

According to investigators, the shooter fled to Texas and, in a phone conversation with police, blamed Zurfluh.

According to Sperbeck, Lajoie first claimed that Zurfluh had taken his Glock .45-caliber pistol while both men were at Lajoie's home that night and "bolted" with it. Lajoie said Zurfluh later claimed he "just scared some kids at the party with the gun," then threw it away.

Lajoie's story kept changing and other witnesses identified him as the shooter, according to the charges.



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