Hiker Shoots Alleged Attacker On Remote Trail

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A confrontation between a hiker and another man at a trailhead off Highway 87 near the Highway 260 turn off, left one man dead Tuesday evening.

Coconino County Sheriff's Det. Scott Feagan said he cannot release specific details on the incident because of the ongoing investigation and deputies are still trying to notify next of kin.

According to Feagan, a hiker coming out at the Pine Canyon trailhead, came across another man with two dogs.

"It appears that a hiker and an individual came across each other," Feagan said. "The accusation by the hiker is that he was attacked by the individual and his two dogs."

The hiker shot and killed the alleged attacker.

"It appears, at this time, that it was self-defense," Feagan said. "But it will be under review by the Coconino County Attorney's Office. They make the final determination about whether charges will be filed."

Feagan said that at this point in the investigation, indications are that the hiker was attacked in the remote area, but could not elaborate.

Because detectives are still trying to locate the next of kin, Feagan could only say the man was from Arizona and was 43-years-old.

"The hiker is a law abiding citizen with a concealed weapons permit," Feagan said.

After the shooting, the hiker flagged down an off-duty forest service employee who contacted law enforcement.

The Pine-Strawberry Fire Department was first to respond to the scene. Lt. Ray Groves said the man was deceased when they arrived.

The dogs were taken by the county animal control officer.

Groves said the dogs did not appear vicious to him and never growled or barked at rescue crews.

"The body was removed by the Coconino County Medical Examiner's Office," Feagan said. "An autopsy is being conducted."

Evidence technicians were at the scene using survey equipment to recreate the scene of the incident.

"It's still very early in the investigation," Feagan said. "but indications point to this as being an act of self-defense."

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