Oregon Man Accidentally Shot and Killed His Brother While Trying To Scare Off Bear On Their Property


An Oregon man mistakenly shot and killed his brother and turned the gun on himself after attempting to scare away an approaching bear on his property, authorities say. 

A statement by Undersheriff Travis Snyder at the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office states that 911 operators received a call on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at about 7 a.m. The call informed them that there was a shooting at a residence in the 2000 block of Placer Road in Sunny Valley. The person on the call told operators that he had “accidentally shot his brother while loading a gun because there was a bear on their property.”

On arrival at the scene, deputies located the deceased male that died from an apparent gunshot wound. Deputies then followed up with a subsequent check of the residence and discovered a second deceased male that died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

“Based upon the investigation, it is believed the caller took his own life after calling 911 to report the accidental shooting,” Undersheriff Snyder said. 

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office are being aided by detectives from the Oregon State Police with an ongoing investigation, and the case has also been forwarded to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office. Neither of the men has been formally identified and no further details have been made regarding the incident.

The state of Oregon is home to 25,000 to 30,000 black bears according to The Josephine County Parks department estimates. In the event of an encounter, it is recommended to “stay calm, do not run or make any sudden movement” but instead “back away slowly as you face the bear”. 

If a black bear attacks, which is unlikely, it is recommended to defend yourself by using rocks, sticks, hands, and shouting to scare them away.

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