18-year-old killed in goose hunting accident in Western Alaska

An 18-year-old died when he was shot while bird hunting with two other young people in Nightmute on April 26.

A boardwalk surrounded by some scattered snow
Nightmute in 1997 (Alaska Department of Commerce Community Photo Database)

“Joseph George was shot in the head at close range by a minor as a goose flew by,” Alaska Department of Public Safety Information Officer Gretchen Weiss-Brooks wrote in an email to KYUK. 

She said the three young people were “hunting a few hundred feet from the Nightmute airport.”

Village health aides responded to the scene, and “for the death to be officially declared,” the health aides contacted the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation to confirm George was dead.

Troopers received a call at 7:20 p.m. that evening alerting them to the death and arrived in Nightmute the next day at noon. Troopers are classifying the incident as a hunting accident and continuing to investigate. Weiss-Brooks said troopers do not suspect suspicious activity and have not issued any citations related to this case.

George’s body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for autopsy.

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Anna Rose MacArthur is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

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