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Son shoots father as they wrestle over gun in Anchorage home

Devin Kelly

An Anchorage man who police say accidentally shot and injured his father while wrestling over a gun is facing felony assault charges.

Chad Andrew Vansickle, 23, was charged Wednesday with felony first-degree assault and misdemeanor weapons misconduct.

At 12:56 a.m. on New Year's Day, a call to Anchorage police reported a shooting at a home on the 7300 block of Woburn Circle.

Police and paramedics found Chad Vansickle's father, Ronald Vansickle, with a single gunshot wound to his mid-chest area, according to charging documents.

The elder Vansickle told police he was wrestling with his son when the gun went off, and Chad Vansickle "had an odor of alcohol and marijuana," according to the documents.

When interviewed by police, Chad Vansickle said he recently bought the weapon from his father and had carried the firearm that day, according to the documents. The firearm's make and model were not detailed in the charges.

After work, the documents say, he had three beers and a shot at a downtown bar, and went home and had another two drinks.

At some point, his father grabbed the gun from his holster, and they struggled over the firearm, according to the charging documents.

"He was able to get the gun away from his father, but his father continued to grab for the gun," the documents state. "The gun then went off."

It was not clear from the court papers why the elder Vansickle tried to snatch the firearm away.

After the shooting, Ronald Vansickle was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable but serious condition, Anchorage police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said in an email.

Chad Vansickle was arraigned Wednesday afternoon and is being held at the Anchorage jail.