Details emerging in drinking and gunplay death in Anchorage

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ANCHORAGE - Charging documents in the case of a man who was shot and killed on a popular biking trail contains details about what may have occurred last Saturday.

According to charging documents, three men were drinking beer when one of them pulled a pistol from a shoulder holster and put it to Elmer Patrick's head and made a statement.

"Wouldn't it be a bitch if this gun went off?" he asked, according to a statement he made to police.

Roger Perkins was subsequently charged with second-degree murder.

He says he does not know why the .45-caliber pistol went off. His only other criminal conviction in Alaska was for driving while intoxicated in 1990.

Police say the three men did not know each other very well.

A man walking his dogs along the Campbell Creek trail at about 8 p.m. Saturday passed the three men sitting under the Arctic Boulevard bridge near Dimond Boulevard. Police say they were Perkins, Patrick and a man Perkins later told officers he knew only as "Duckie."

"These guys didn't know each other very well, but they were all in the area drinking," police Lt. Paul Honeman said. "In the drinking world, you meet someone, start drinking and 15 minutes later you're best buddies."

The dog walker returned about 10 minutes later and saw just one man there, sitting cross-legged and bleeding from the head, an affidavit says. The witness ran to a nearby Mexican restaurant and called police.

A regular drinking a beer at the bar had come in minutes before, but he got up and left when the dog-walker asked for the phone, a bartender told police.

Police arriving on the scene found Patrick bleeding and cigarette butts and Miller cans strewn about the area, according to the affidavit. Later that night, a patrol officer spotted the suspect.

During questioning at police headquarters, Perkins initially denied being at the restaurant or drinking with Patrick, but he subsequently changed his statement to say he had pulled the gun, though he told investigators it went off by accident.

He later admitted he put it to Patrick's head but still insisted he didn't know why it went off. He said he was sorry.

"If you've got a loaded gun, you're drinking and you point that gun at another person, that's extreme indifference to the value of human life," Honeman said. "Could someone say it was an accident? It's not an accident. It's negligence."

Perkins is being held at the Anchorage jail in lieu of $250,000 cash bail.

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