Gunshot kills man at remote cabin west of Willow

Casey Grove

A man shot in the chest Monday night at a remote cabin west of Willow died after military rescuers flew him to an Anchorage hospital, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Investigators are not saying if they think someone shot the man, if he shot himself intentionally, or if the shooting was accidental. A troopers spokeswoman says the man's name has not been released because doing so could hurt the investigation.

Someone reported the shooting about 7:45 p.m. Monday at a cabin 25 miles due west of Willow, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen, who refused to say who made the report or how it was made. According to the Alaska Air National Guard, the 61-year-old man was shot once in the chest at the cabin, near Hiline Lake.

An HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter and its crew flew to the area, arriving a little after 10 p.m., and loaded the man into the chopper, said Guard spokesman Maj. Guy Hayes. They delivered the man to an Anchorage hospital about 11:30 p.m., Hayes said.

Troopers say the man died while at the hospital.

The investigators waited out bad weather and flew to the cabin Tuesday morning, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. Communication by radio or phone has been impossible, Ipsen said. The troopers spokeswoman refused to say if the investigators are looking for a suspect.

"We are very sure that there shouldn't be any danger to the public," said Ipsen, who would not say why. "We need to follow some investigative leads before we get to the point that we can release more details. ... We're erring on the side of caution, because at this stage we don't want to damage where the investigation is heading."

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.