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Press Release

Anchorage Man Sentenced For Gun Violence On School Grounds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska – U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that an Anchorage man has been sentenced to federal prison for charges relating to gun violence within an Anchorage school zone.

John-Rexie Lagman, 23, of Anchorage was sentenced on Thursday, September 17, 2020 by Chief  U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess to 30 months in federal prison followed by 2 years of supervised release for possessing a firearm within a designated school zone.

On July 2, 2019, two teenagers involved in a social medial dispute planned to fight at Williwaw Elementary School, recruiting friends to join them. The dispute turned violent when one teen began stabbing others, including Lagman, with a screwdriver. In response, Lagman pulled out a Springfield XD .40-caliber handgun and shot the teen twice as he was running away. The teen survived the shooting but suffered life-threatening injuries.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge Burgess remarked that Lagman’s conduct “defied any sort of reasonable reaction or behavior” and noted the sentence should “send a message to the community about gun violence.”

U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to enforcing the laws that protect children from gun violence at and around schools.”

This case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

 This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please visit

The Anchorage Police Department (APD) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of this case.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Ivers. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the Anchorage Municipality.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Ivers initiated the case when she was a municipal prosecutor assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office to combat violent crime and promote public safety within the Municipality of Anchorage.     

Updated September 18, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 20-059