Alakanuk teen shot in the leg walking home from rabbit hunt

Michelle Theriault Boots

An Alakanuk teenager was shot in the leg while walking home from a rabbit hunt Thursday, and troopers say they have no idea who fired at him, or why.

The 15-year-old was walking alone near the Yukon River at about 6:30 p.m. on Thursday when he was shot in the left calf, the Alaska State Troopers said in an online dispatch.

The wound appeared to be from a .22-caliber firearm, troopers said.

Troopers at an outpost St. Mary's weren't notified until 11 a.m. the next day, according to the dispatch.

The wound was minor, said AST spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

"Troopers do not believe he accidentally shot himself," Ipsen said. "But we still don't know exactly what happened."

The boy was taken to Bethel for treatment and released, she said.

Investigating troopers from St. Mary's couldn't get in to Alakanuk until Saturday because of high winds and cancelled flights.

They ended up snowmachining from Emmonak to Alakanuk, a Western Alaska village of about 652 people located about 15 miles east of the Bering Sea.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at or 257-4344.