Firefighter faces jail time for shooting

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2000

Patrick Eggers, a city firefighter, was sentenced Monday to a year in prison for an August shooting incident in Skagway. Eggers had fired into the door of a house, but no one was hurt.

Eggers pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment, weapons misconduct and drunken driving - all misdemeanors.

He was originally charged with five counts of felony assault because there were five people inside the house. He was also charged with a felony charge for weapons misconduct, as well as a misdemeanor.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks sentenced Eggers to consecutive terms of a year in prison with six months suspended for the endangerment and weapons charges.

He also gave Eggers six months in prison for drunken driving, but suspended four months and made the prison time concurrent with the rest of the sentence. And he fined Eggers $1,000, with $500 suspended.

In all, 16 months of prison time will be suspended during three years of probation.

Eggers, 41, has been a city firefighter and medic since 1990, but the city suspended him without pay after the incident. The city now will review Eggers' future employment, said Capital City Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Doyle.

Assistant District Attorney Sue McLean said a group of college-age people had partied Aug. 9 at a house in Skagway. Eggers didn't know the people but was taken to the party by a friend.

After the party broke up, the residents laid down to sleep. Eggers arrived in a truck and knocked on the door, but was told the party was over.

``The next thing they knew Mr. Eggers shot into their home with a shotgun,'' McLean said. ``So Mr. Eggers is lucky he's here today on a charge that does not involve a serious injury or death.''

The slug from the shotgun penetrated the closed door and left a big hole in the kitchen wall, McLean said.

An hour after Eggers drove back to the house to fire the shot, his blood-alcohol level was 0.246, more than twice the presumptive level for drunken driving, McLean said. This was Eggers' first drunken driving conviction, she said.

McLean said the state had ``some trepidation'' about reducing the charges to misdemeanors, but Eggers has expressed deep remorse.

Eggers, pausing for deep breaths, told Judge Weeks he thanks God no one was hurt or killed.

``I'd like to explain what happened, but we don't know what happened,'' Eggers said. ``I am an alcoholic. In my past, I never had a problem with violence or anything like that.''



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