Fairbanks police say alcohol was a factor in accidental shooting death

Alcohol was a factor in an accidental shooting that took the life of Ft. Wainwright based soldier over the weekend.

Fairbanks Police Detective Scott Adams says 25-year-old Stryker Brigade Sergeant Nathan Michael Higginbotham had been consuming alcohol prior to the early Sunday incident.

“Basically it looks like the gentleman had been drinking, at the same time was handling a firearm. The two mixed together are never a good thing.”

Police say friends witnessed Higgenbotham remove a clip from a pistol, put it to his head and pull the trigger, to demonstrate that it was not loaded.

A bullet remaining in the chamber fired, killing Higgenbotham. Detective Adams says soldiers are well versed in firearms safety, and attributes the incident strictly to alcohol impairment.