Ketchikan man dies after accidental shooting

A 22-year-old Ketchikan man died Sunday night from what Alaska State Troopers say appears to be an accidental shooting.

According to troopers, Samson Mullenax was at a gravel pit off Brown Mountain Road with about a half-dozen people. Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the gravel pit is frequently used as a shooting range.

“It looks like somebody was handling one of the small-caliber handguns that they had and it was discharged,” she said. “And unfortunately, it did strike Mr. Mullenax.”

Peters said friends immediately took Mullenax to Ketchikan Medical Center.

“They tried to do a couple different life-saving measures on him, but it just wasn’t enough,” she said. “He was declared deceased when he was at the hospital.”

Next of kin have been notified. Peters said the investigation is ongoing, even though the shooting is most likely an accident.

“From the information that we have, it doesn’t appear to be anything sinister, however it is still something that we have to look into and make sure that we have all the information,” she said.

Peters said Mullenax and the person who was handling the gun that discharged will be screened for drugs and alcohol, although there’s no indication at this point that either was involved. She said that’s a standard procedure.

The body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner for an autopsy.