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Crime & Courts

Man dies in hospital after son beat him with gun, Sitka police say

  • Author: Tess Williams
  • Updated: February 24
  • Published February 23

A man who was assaulted by his son last week in the Sitka area died after he was flown to a Seattle hospital, according to the Sitka Police Department.

Late on Feb. 14, police were called to a Kasiana Island home for a report of a shooting, according to a probable cause statement signed by Sgt. Gary Cranford. When officers arrived at the home, 28-year-old Patrick O’Brien told them he had shot his father in the head with a .357 revolver during an argument, the statement said.

Cranford wrote that 63-year-old James O’Brien had severe injuries to his face and head. James O’Brien was having difficulty breathing because of the injuries, the statement said. He was flown to a hospital in Seattle, the police department wrote on Facebook.

Due to the severity of the injuries, Sitka police spokeswoman Serena Wild said, officers could not immediately tell if James O’Brien had been shot. Wild said officers determined during later investigation that both men had fired at each other but had missed. Wild said Patrick O’Brien caused significant injuries to his father by beating him with the handgun.

*****Update***** On 2/21/2021, it was reported to the Sitka Police Department that the victim of the assault, 63 year...

Posted by Sitka Police Department on Monday, February 22, 2021

Officials were notified Sunday that James O’Brien had died.

Patrick O’Brien had been drinking before the fight and shooting began, according to the probable cause statement, which said his blood alcohol content was nearly double the legal limit allowed to drive. He had taken cellphones away from his family members during the fight so they would not be able to call for help, the statement said.

O’Brien was arrested Feb. 14 and is facing a felony charge of first-degree assault and misdemeanor counts of fourth-degree assault, interfering with a domestic violence report and misconduct involving weapons.

An autopsy will determine if additional charges will be filed against Patrick O’Brien, police said.

Correction: A previous version of this article said James O’Brien had been shot. Police initially believed he had been shot but further investigation showed that Patrick O’Brien had missed when he fired at him.