6-year-old dies in accidental shooting in Togiak

Aug 18, 2017

A 10-year-old in Togiak accidently shot a 6-year-old fatally on Wednesday. The 10-year-old did not purposefully point the gun at the other child and thought the firearm was not loaded.

A child died in an accidental shooting in Togiak on Wednesday evening. An Alaska State Trooper and the village public safety officer responded. When they arrived they found the 6-year-old shooting victim unresponsive.

The shooting occurred while a group of children was playing outside unsupervised. They obtained a modified .22-caliber rifle that Sergeant Luis Nieves described as “essentially a handgun.” All those involved, including the 10-year-old carrying the firearm, thought the gun was not loaded.

“We’ve determined there was only one shot fired,” said Nieves. “The child didn’t intentionally point the firearm at the other child. The 10-year-old essentially stumbled and the weapon went off and ultimately led to this tragedy.”

The responding trooper, VPSO and health aids performed CPR and continued lifesaving measures for about an hour until the 6-year-old was pronounced dead at the Togiak Clinic.

Troopers are continuing to investigate the incident, which includes investigating who was responsible for securing the firearm. The state medical examiner will also perform an autopsy on the victim. However, no foul play is suspected.

“The 10-year-old that essentially fired the firearm — it was an accident. This was not intentional by any means. I would ask the community to support this child and say prayers for the family and for these children because this is something they’re going to have to be living with for the rest of their lives,” said Nieves.

Because they are children, troopers are not releasing the names of those involved.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-5281.