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A gunfight between an Alaska police officer and a pedestrian who suddenly opened fire may have stopped a serial killer dead in his tracks.

According to Anchorage police, Officer Arn Salao was responding to a theft complaint early Saturday when he spotted 40-year-old James Dale Ritchie walking down a city street. When Salao pulled up next to Ritchie to ask if he had seen the crime, Ritchie ignored the question and continued walking, prompting the officer to ask again over the public-address loudspeaker in his patrol car. It was at that moment, police said, that Ritchie turned and opened fire on the officer, hitting him at least four times.

Salao “immediately returned gunfire and physically fought off his assailant,” Anchorage Chief Chris Tolley said at a Tuesday press conference. “At the same time, as this is occurring, a second officer who’s in the area rolled up on the incident and Sgt. Marc Patzke of our K9 Unit charged and returned fire. … Together they were able to stop this individual.”

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Anchorage Police Department
James Ritchie looks eerily similar to the suspect sketch. He stood 6 feet four inches tall and was wearing a camouflage jacket when he was shot and killed Saturday police said.

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Click link below for article, video and slideshow:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/suspected-serial-killer-unmasked-after-chance-police-encounter_us_582cdc18e4b030997bbd606a

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