A Stevens Village man faces felony charges for reportedly firing a gun at two men and a child at a boat dock in the village Sunday.
Ronald Edward John, 66, told Alaska State Troopers he was blackout drunk at the time and didn’t remember anything until he woke up at home the next day, according to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks court.
John is charged with three counts of felony third-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree weapons misconduct.
Troopers learned of the incident when one of the men called them Monday morning to report that he, his 11-year-old son and another man were “terrified” when John started firing his rifle at them. A village tribal member also called troopers and asked that John be removed from the village for public safety reasons.
According to the complaint, the first caller told troopers he docked his boat next to John and noticed he was intoxicated and handling firearms. The man said John picked up a rifle and shot into the air after his shotgun didn’t fire. The man fled the scene in his boat after John started to argue with him and shot into the air again.
Two troopers flew to Stevens Village and spoke to John, who said he’d had “quite a bit to drink” the day before and didn’t remember much. John said he recalled going down to the river and arguing with someone before blacking out, but didn’t remember anything involving a firearm, according to the complaint.
Troopers searched John’s boat and found a 12-gauge Mossberg 335 pump-action shotgun and a 30-06 Model 1917 bolt-action rifle on a bench. The rifle had one spent shell casing in the chamber and one cartridge in the magazine. Troopers found two spent 30-06 casings on the floor below the gun and an empty bottle of Monarch vodka in the boat, according to the complaint.
The adult male passenger of the caller emailed troopers about the incident. The man said he was from Japan and thus had little knowledge of guns because they’re forbidden there. Nonetheless, the man said, he could tell John was using the gun incorrectly because there were “no animals” around to threaten John, and they themselves were not a threat, according to the complaint.
Stevens Village is located on the Yukon River about 90 air miles northwest of Fairbanks.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her at Twitter.com/FDNMcrime.