A Juneau man who was shot in the face last week is presently undergoing surgery, but appears to be OK, hospital officials confirmed Thursday.
“That patient is currently in the (operating room), but he’s in stable condition,” Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Clare LaFond said by phone around 2:15 p.m.
Police had said John Nicholas Duran, 33, was shot in the face with a .357-caliber gun at a home in the Mendenhall Valley last Tuesday evening. Juneau Police Department arrested Kenneth Edward Nalan, 35, in connection with the shooting the following day.
Reached by phone Thursday, Duran’s family declined to comment.
Nalan’s family said the shooting was an accident. Nalan’s wife, Angela Day Nalan, said Thursday that Duran was undergoing facial fracture reconstruction surgery. She said his condition had vastly improved.
“He’s coherent, he’s talking,” she said, adding his mother and father were with him at the hospital.
Details of Duran’s injuries were never released, but court records indicated he was able to walk and talk immediately after he was shot. He was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital, then medevaced to Harborview in Seattle.
Harborview spokespeople had said Duran was originally listed in critical condition and was in the intensive care unit. His status was quickly upgraded to satisfactory condition, and now appears to be stable.
Nalan was charged with first-degree assault, a class ‘A’ felony, in connection with the shooting. He appeared in court for a bail hearing Thursday, which was pushed back until Tuesday. The 35-year-old construction worker is being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $20,000 bail, $5,000 of which is as a cash appearance bond.
Defense attorney David Seid indicated Nalan would be able to post the $5,000, and that he would ask at the January bail hearing for Nalan to be released to a third-party custodian, who could take him to and from work. Seid told Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy on Thursday that Nalan’s employer, Design North Inc., has drafted letters of support for Nalan.
Seid told the judge Nalan has “little to no” criminal record, and there’s a possibility for an argument to be made that the shooting was an accident or in self-defense.
Nalan is scheduled to appear in court again Friday for a preliminary hearing before Juneau District Court Judge Thomas Nave.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at email@example.com.