Murder suspect tells friends he shot man in self-defense

Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The 23-year-old man charged in an Eagle River homicide Saturday told friends he shot the man when he saw him reaching for a gun, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.

Gabriel Leon was arraigned Monday on a charge of first-degree murder for killing Leneal Waters, 31. Waters was shot to death on the front porch of his ex-wife's parents' house about 5:15 a.m. Saturday.

Leanne Waters was sleeping at her parents' house Friday night. Her ex-husband was staying there with her because he'd had a fight with his girlfriend and needed a place to stay, she told police.

About 4 a.m. Saturday, Leon showed up at the house to retrieve what he said was stolen jewelry. He woke up Leanne Waters by yelling her name from outside. Waters woke up and told Leon to leave. Instead he went upstairs to confront Leneal Waters. The two argued, and Leon left a short time later.

Leon came back about an hour later, the complaint states. He and Leneal Waters argued again, after which Leneal Waters was found dead with shots to his face, hand, and chest.

The complaint charges James Harris, 18, and Steve Leffel, 22, with evidence tampering and hindering prosecution.

Leffel told police Leon said he shot Leneal Waters after Waters made motion that indicated Waters was drawing a gun. Leon shot again multiple times because it appeared Waters continued reaching for his gun, Leffel told police.

Leon is being held at the Mat-Su Pre-Trail Facility in Palmer in lieu of $250,000 bail.

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