FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of a 69-year-old man who was shot at his home in Fox on Sunday afternoon.
Jimmy Gojdics, who sometimes spelled his last name the way it’s pronounced (Gaydos), was a retired ironworker, outdoorsman and reality television character in the National Geographic show “Ultimate Survival.”
Alaska State Troopers received word of the shooting at 3:06 p.m. at Gojdics’ home on the Old Elliott Highway behind the Silver Gulch Brewery. Gojdics was “suffering from apparent gunshot wounds” when troopers arrived. He was pronounced dead after being transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, according to a troopers news release.
The case is under investigation as a homicide, said trooper spokesman Tim Despain. He said Monday afternoon that he doesn’t know if there are any suspects in Gojdics’ killing. Gojdics’ body is being sent to the State Medical Examiner.
Originally from upstate New York, Gojdics had no family in Fairbanks but many friends, according to his friend, Janine Carlson. Carlson knew Gojdics for about 12 years and said he was known for his wide-ranging interest in building things, from skyscrapers in New York to canoes and rafts in Alaska. People in Fox sometimes saw him driving a Russian Ural motorcycle with a sidecar or a carriage drawn by horses that shod himself. He loved traveling and people from other countries, and he spent winters in South America as much as he could, Carlson said.
“Everyone was his friend and he met someone everywhere,” she said.
National Geographic Channel's website says he had worked as a fisherman, horse wrangler, blacksmith, forest service firefighter, river guide and wilderness guide.
He appeared last year on the second season of the reality show, but "sustained an injury that made it impossible for his team to continue in the competition," spokesman Chad Sandhas said in an email to The Associated Press Tuesday.
"We were saddened to learn of Mr. Gaydos's untimely passing and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time," Sandhas wrote.
Contact outdoors editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545.Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FDNMoutdoors. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.