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Anchorage police say fatal Airport Heights shooting result of ‘accidental self-inflicted gunshot,’ not homicide

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 12:07 PM AKDT|Updated: Dec. 22, 2021 at 2:29 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage police have determined that a man who died in Airport Heights in September was killed by an accidental self-inflicted gunshot.

Officers with the Anchorage Police Department initially responded in the area of East 16th Avenue and Norene Street just after 11 a.m. on Sept. 24 after reports of a shooting, according to a public alert. When they arrived, they found a man who had been shot in the torso.

At the time the shooting was reported on Sept. 24, police were asking for anyone with information to come forward and it was being investigated as a homicide.

According to an update to a community alert posted Wednesday, police believe the gunshot was accidental.

“It appears the victim was handling a weapon when he slipped and fell on the ice causing him to discharge the weapon,” police wrote. “This death is no longer being classified as a homicide.”

Police originally said the man was taken to the hospital with an injury that was not life-threatening. However, they wrote in an updated alert that the man died from his injuries at the hospital.

East 16th Avenue was initially closed between Norene Street and Nichols Street while police investigated. The department wrote in a 4:20 p.m. update that the road will reopen when the crime scene unit has left, and asked that people avoid the area.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information.

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