Courts & Crime

Shooting has a family feel: 3 of 4 sons have been killed

ANCHORAGE — The deadly shooting at the Dimond Center last weekend wasn't the first time the victim's family lost a son to violence. Nor the second.

When Edwing Valentine Matos, 29, was gunned down by a man in an "Afro" wig and fake mustache Saturday in a high-profile shooting during shopping prime time, he was the third of four brothers to be felled over the years. And the fourth was blinded by a gunshot to the head, according to a family friend.

The family was still dealing with the murder of their eldest son -- his killer was convicted in December -- when they learned Edwing Matos had been killed, said the father, Guillermo Matos, 55.

"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it," the father said in a brief interview Monday about when he heard of his son's death. "It's like a curse."

Police on Monday were still searching for the man who opened fire on the west end of Anchorage's busiest mall just before 6:30 p.m. and shot Matos several times outside a barber shop. Witnesses said the disguised shooter may have been watching Matos as he shopped, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Security footage has been examined. Police have interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, including a man who was with Matos and was tackled as he ran from the scene by an off-duty Alaska State Trooper. But on Monday, police offered no glimpse into whether they had any suspects or what the motivation might be.

Police initially reported the shooting was gang-related but backed off that assertion after checking out Matos and determining he was not a gang member, police spokeswoman Anita Shell said.

"We have not pieced all the pieces together, so, at this point in time, there's no indication that it was gang-related," Shell said.

Though he didn't want to speak in depth about the situation, Matos likewise said his son was not a gang member.

"It was nothing to do with (a gang)," Matos said. "It was to do with somebody robbing his house, breaking into the house and taking his stuff. And then the guy shot him down there."

That matches a tip police say they got in which Matos' XBox and other property had been stolen and he wanted to get it back. Detectives, however, wouldn't say whether they considered that a plausible scenario.

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