In a tragic event in the early morning hours of February 8, an Oregon man saw a black bear near his house, then accidentally shot his brother as he loaded a gun in defense. According to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, the man then turned the gun on himself before officers could arrive.
“Upon arrival, deputies found a male deceased from an apparent gunshot wound,” Deputy Travis Snyder said in the incident report. “While checking the rest of the residence, a second deceased male was found with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Authorities seem understandably taken aback by the event and are releasing few details at this time.
“Based on the investigation, the caller is believed to have committed suicide after calling 911 to report the accidental shooting,” Snyder said. “This case is still under investigation and will be forwarded to the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office were assisted by Oregon State Police Detectives. ‘Oregon.
Placer, Oregon is an unincorporated community 20 miles north of Grants Pass and a few miles from Interstate 5. Founded around gold mining but now considered a ghost town, the chain of large homes and estates follows along Grave Creek towards the mountains and vast BLM lumber lands.
With such sparse information and no witnesses, it’s hard to speculate on a full picture of what happened here. Oregon is home to an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 black bears, according to the ODFW, and allows limited entry hunting. Based on the location, it is highly plausible that a bear was on this particular property, although the sheriff’s office shows no recent reports of bears causing trouble in the area. Panic can lead to terrible mistakes and gun safety should never, ever be ignored. MeatEater sends its condolences to the families of these men.