Alaska News

Bethel trooper's 4-year-old son dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound

A 4-year-old boy was playing in his family's home in Bethel when he fatally shot himself Monday, state troopers say. On Tuesday, troopers identified the child as William Anderson.

Emily Hardy, the boy's aunt, said Anderson had just returned home from sledding. His mother and grandmother were in the kitchen and had told the children to go play in the living room.

"They weren't far, but somehow he got a hold of dad's gun," Hardy said. "It was just a freak accident."

The boy's father is a trooper, Hardy said.

According to troopers, the Bethel Police Department and medics were called to the state troopers' housing in Bethel for a child who had been injured Monday afternoon. Investigators found the child had gotten the privately owned weapon while playing unsupervised.

The Alaska Bureau of Investigation arrived in Bethel on Tuesday to investigate. The body is expected to be examined at the state medical examiner's office on Wednesday, troopers said.

Troopers didn't respond to requests for additional information.

Megan Edge

Megan Edge is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News.