Dena’ina Center in Anchorage was site of suicide tragedy as hundreds gathered at AFN convention.
Published October 18, 2015
ANCHORAGE – Hundreds of attendees of the Alaska Federation of Native Convention held at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska were shocked at the apparent suicide of an Alaska Native who jumped some 60 feet to his death from a third floor balcony on Saturday afternoon.
The tragedy occurred at the end of a three-day convention held at that draws hundreds of Alaska Natives each year.
The name of the victim has not been released by authorities. Nor is it clear if he was an attendee of the convention.
Achorage Police said the victim “looks older than 25. Appears to be a Native male adult with gray in his hair. He had a satchel and he had glasses. Several people said they saw him get on the edge and go over. No one was around him.”
Anchorage Police and firefighters arrived on the scene shortly after the man died around 3:30 local time. Convention attendees were evacuated from the first floor. A banquet was canceled.
Sadly, the suicide occurred at the same conference where suicide was discussed in-depth because of the high rates of suicides among Alaska Natives.
Suicide hotlines are available in Alaska for those who are depressed and experiencing suicidal thoughts.