By Melinda Munson
On Feb. 12 at approximately 11:15 p.m., Skagway Police Dispatch “received a report of multiple gunshots in the area of 19th Ave and Main Street,” according to a Skagway Police release.
Police Chief Jerry Reddick said he and all three officers responded to a suspect, Skagway resident Thomas J. Moraniec, 33.
“[We] talked him out at gunpoint,” Reddick said. “He was cooperative.”
Reddick said a semi-automatic weapon was seized and spent shell casings collected.
According to the release, “As per protocol, Officer Michels contacted the District Attorney’s Office who advised not to make an arrest and to forward charges for Misconduct Involving a Weapon in the Fourth Degree.”
“I really wish there had been another way to charge him, the DA did not agree,” Reddick said, noting the incident happened with no witnesses.
“There’s been some turnover in the DA office,” he continued. “I feel like we haven’t had good communication as of yet.”
Moraniec was arraigned Feb. 16 and faces four charges: Miscellaneous Weapons 4 – Possession While Intoxicated, Miscellaneous Weapon 4 – Firing Recklessly, DUI – Alcohol or Controlled Substance and finally, Reckless Endangerment. His next court date is March 28.
“I don’t feel like this is going to be a continued threat,” Reddick said. “I feel like this is a young man who made poor decisions.”
Borough Manager Brad Ryan confirmed that at the time of the incident, Moraniec was employed at Dahl Memorial Clinic as a medical assistant. Ryan would not comment on Moraniec’s current employment status.
“I often wonder whether the DA office cares about anything that’s going on in Skagway,” said Mayor Andrew Cremata. “We have a severe drug problem in Skagway, and if I’m this disappointed, I can’t imagine how disappointed our police force is.”
The police did an exceptional job handling a difficult situation,” Cremata added