Professional firearm photographers/videographers I’ve met are always looking for shots that engage their viewers. In pursuing those perfect pictures, however, they are generally very careful to work with shooters to plan their shots out with safety in mind. They’re professionals looking to make a living, not thrill-seekers with a death wish.
Unfortunately, something clearly went wrong in Alaska this past weekend that saw a photographer step in front the muzzle of a shooter just as he was squeezing off a round Saturday night, with tragic results.
An Anchorage man was killed Saturday after stepping into the line of fire while attempting to visually capture other people shooting guns in Sutton, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Troopers were first notified of the incident at 10:36 p.m. when someone called to report a gunshot wound victim at a place known by locals as the Gravel Pits in the area of Jonesville Mine Road.
When troopers arrived, an individual at the scene was performing CPR on 30-year-old Army veteran Adam Malaby.
Malaby was medevaced to Providence Medical Center, in Anchorage, where he was pronounced dead.
“Investigation revealed Malaby had stepped in the line of fire while attempting to video or photograph others shooting and was shot by another individual that was firing a .40-caliber pistol,” troopers explained.
There’s simply not enough information in the story to know what precisely what happened in this incident, but Malaby clearly stepped foot downrange and then crossed in front of the muzzle of a shooter just as rounds were going off.
Did Malaby fixate on his camera and lose his frame of reference with the location of shooter(s) in the viewfinder? Was the pistol shooter so focused on lining up his shot that he developed tunnel vision? We don’t know.
What we do know is that safety is everyone’s responsibility on the range, even informal ranges, and especially in what appears to be low-light conditions.
Be safe out there, folks.
The four rules always apply.