Neighbors startled after Bergman Hotel shooting on Saturday morning

No injuries reported after several shots hit hotel window, wall on Harris St.

Posted: Monday, June 14, 2004

Neighbors of the Bergman Hotel, 434 Third Street, are still wondering why an unknown gunman fired several rounds early Saturday morning at a second-floor window that overlooks Harris Street.

Police are still investigating the incident, but said Saturday the two occupants of the room were not injured.

The window had what appeared to be a large bullethole in its upper right corner. Several more holes were scattered in the hotel siding next to the pane. Seven orange circles remain on Harris Street, where police recovered ammunition cartridges.

Olivia Nelson grew up across Third Street from the Bergman, and still lives in the house. She woke up when she heard the shots, and first thought a bear was on the loose, she said. Her husband, Stefan, woke up early Saturday morning to go to work, and police were still investigating. Bullet shells lay a few feet from his white truck.

"I'm aware that there's been shootings in Juneau before, but nothing down here," Nelson said. "It's too close to home."

"The whole thing is just crazy," she said. "We're upset; we're definitely shaken by it. My neighbor who lives below us has a 6-month old. I have a 16-month-old. It's definitely a concern."

When Olga Mendoza, Olivia's sister, was a high school student, her bedroom faced the Bergman's front door. She did not hear the shooting, she said.

"I would say that I'm not surprised (about the shooting)," Mendoza said. "In high school, I had to call the cops every single time I had an exam. You see all kinds of stuff - arguments, fights, drunk people."

Hydrologist Adelaide Johnson and her family live about 200 feet from the Bergman. The shooting woke her up at about 3:30 a.m.

"I heard bata-bat-bat-bata-bat, and I thought at first it was gunfire," said Johnson, who's lived in the area for five years. "And then I thought, no it can't be gunfire. It must be somebody throwing out some of their explosives. And then I didn't realize what it was until the next day when I talked to some people that said they had talked to police officers."

The cartridges were recovered a few feet from Johnson's car, parked parallel to the Bergman on the far side of Harris Street.

"I heard (gunfire) when I lived in Baltimore, but I don't expect it here," Johnson said.

"The neighbors up the street are totally horrified, and they think this is a great reason for (the Bergman) to not get the liquor license that they applied for," she said. "We know that the owner of the Bergman has tried to clean it up, but this is just showing that they have a ways to go. Basically it's salt in the wound for all of the people that live in this area."

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