From Kyle Hopkins --
An Anchorage man is being charged with attempted murder after blasting a cabdriver early this morning in Spenard, police say.
The cabdriver suffered a “grazing, abdomen wound,” said police spokeswoman Anita Shell. He is expected to be released from the hospital today, she said.
The driver, 30-year-old James Gregory, told police that he spotted Michael Blackwell, 21, prowling around a parked vehicle at about 4:30 a.m. on the 4300 block of Cope Street. Gregory reported the suspicious activity to police dispatchers.
The cabdriver spoke with Blackwell, who said he lived in the neighborhood. Blackwell then disappeared behind a home and emerged with a shotgun, police said.
The cabdriver told police that Blackwell fired on him. Afterward, witnesses spotted Blackwell shooting the gun in the air as he walked down the street, police said.
Police found Blackwell nearby and arrested him. He is charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault and possession of a stolen firearm.
Blackwell is well known to Anchorage police.
His criminal record in Alaska includes three assault convictions since 2009, plus convictions for trespassing, theft and reckless endangerment. Authorities charged Blackwell last month with misdemeanor assault and a related count of "family violence," which means an assault committed with "knowledge or reckless disregard of the presence of a child or children in the home."
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