By Allison Sayer for Seward City News-
On November 26 at 6:16pm, Alaska State Troopers arrived at the scene of a shooting incident at mile 7.0 on the Seward Highway.
According to the State Trooper Dispatch, “The initial report was that one neighbor fired several rounds towards the direction of a conex box two of his neighbors were working in. One of the rounds grazed one of the male’s head and cut the top of his ear. AST contacted Stephen Flitter, age 71 of Seward. Investigation revealed Flitter fired a shotgun loaded with slugs towards the conex while he was intoxicated from just outside of his residence. Flitter was arrested on two counts of Assault 3, Misconduct Involving Weapons 2, and Misconduct Involving Weapons 4. Flitter was remanded to Seward Jail with no bail. The injured male did not require medical attention.”
AST has released the identity of the man who was shot. He is Curtis Catron, 49, also of Seward. AST had no information to release on a potential motive or any events leading up to the shooting.
Mr. Flitter was transferred to the Wildwood Correctional Complex just north of Kenai on November 29. Wildwood houses a pre-trial facility.
Another individual, Michael Wood, 63, of Seward, was with Flitter at the time of the incident. He allegedly assisted Flitter and was indicted on 11/29 on the charges of Assault 2, Assault 3, and MIW 2. Wood lives on the property with Flitter.
The charge of Assualt 3 does not require intent to injure another person. The charge is for causing bodily injury to another person knowingly or recklessly. A person can also be charged with Assault 3 for causing bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon with “criminal negligence.”
Both Flitter and Catron “dodged a bullet” in this near-tragedy on November 26. Catron could easily have been killed, and Flitter would have sobered up to discover that he had murdered someone. The combination of firearms with drugs or alcohol has led to many tragedies throughout the United States, and particularly in Alaska.
It is illegal to handle firearms when intoxicated or under the influence of any drug. Friends and family must take it seriously when an intoxicated person handles a firearm irresponsibly. This pattern of behavior can lead to tragedy down the road. Intervention before the tragedy occurs can save many lives from being destroyed.
Fortunately, in this incident, all parties have another chance.