Man, 25, reportedly shoots himself

Posted: Sunday, October 04, 2009

A 25-year-old man was medevaced to Seattle with life-threatening injuries after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a .22-caliber rifle in Lemon Creek on Friday afternoon, the Juneau Police Department reported.

Police responded to a report of an accidental shooting at about 2:20 p.m. at an apartment where they found the man alive but unresponsive. Three other adults and an infant were in the apartment on Glacier Highway and all the adults gave the same description of what happened, police spokesman Sgt. Dave Campbell said. The man's name was not released.

"It looks like it was a tragic accident," Campbell said.

Police say the accidental shooting happened as the group was planning to go to the gun range. One of the adults raised concern about the 25-year-old man handling the firearm because of the infant being in the room, according to a police press release. The adult also was concerned that the rifle was loaded.

"The man joked that there was one way to find out if it was loaded and, at that point, he reportedly put the rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger," according to the release.

Capital City Fire and Rescue paramedics rushed the victim to Bartlett Regional Hospital. He was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Even though the gun involved in the shooting was a small caliber rifle, all loaded firearms are dangerous, Campbell said.

"It's still a bullet and when you're talking about close range like that, small calibers are very dangerous," he said.

Neither alcohol nor drugs appear to have played a role in the incident, police reported.

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