Unidentified Target Shooter Kills Alaskan Photographer Adam Malaby

GLOCK .40 (courtesy gunsamerica.com)

“An Anchorage man was shot and killed Saturday while he was trying to photograph others shooting guns, Alaska State Troopers wrote in a dispatch Monday.” The report comes a little late to TTAG HQ; things move at a different pace in The Last Frontier State. That said, bullets don’t. ktuu.com: “Investigations revealed that Adam Malaby . . . stepped in the line of fire. He was struck by a bullet from a .40 caliber pistol. [ED: not shown] People at the scene were performing CPR on Malaby when troopers arrived and he was then transported by air to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.” No word on the whether or not Malaby was shooting the shooters with or without the shooter’s knowledge. Nor any photos from the scene.


  1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Stay uprange when the line is hot?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


      I have even trained my children to “stay behind the line” when we are target shooting. Why? Because a person who has one eye closed and is focusing their mental capabilities and their other eye on a target down range cannot see someone slipping into the field of fire.

      I have even taught my children not to walk in front of the muzzle of a firearm that is laying on someone’s lap or table. (This is a variation of “muzzle sweep” whereby the bystander sweeps themselves in front of the muzzle as opposed to the firearm operator sweeping the muzzle in front of the bystander.) And they are amazingly good at recognizing a muzzle and not walking in front of it — even when they were in 2nd grade!

      Just about everyone can learn these methods and put them into practice.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        3rd Rule of Everybody Now Thinks They’re a Photographer-

        Because you are taking pictures of it, it cannot kill you. Bears, tsunamis, robberies, tornadoes, bullets. “It’s ok dude, I’m just getting a sick shot!”.

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          “3rd Rule of Everybody Now Thinks They’re a Photographer-

          Because you are taking pictures of it, it cannot kill you.”

          Like this one –

        2. avatar 16V says:

          Kind of an aside, but humorous nonetheless…

      2. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Your point about the shooter and their attention could just as easily apply to the camera man and quite plausibly does in this case.

  2. avatar Priest of the center mass says:

    Being down range while it’s hot leads to exactly this.
    It’s a no brainer.
    Safety is no accident.

    1. avatar BigDaveinVT says:

      That’s what they make remote shutter releases and timers for. The camera can be replaced; your life can’t.

  3. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    The .40 is so dead you can’t even find pictures of it.

    1. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

      Indeed. Seems like a wave of deaths from .40 has occurred ever since being threatened with extinction that last week…

      1. avatar AJ187 says:

        I called it the gun media hype. Quite a little bubble we live in if you think about it. Sets a lot of trends and panic buying. Declares things dead, etc. Makes for great clickbait.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      It’s a lot easier to find HST and Winchester Ranger in .40 Smith than 9mm +P. Celebrate ballistic diversity, my friends.

      1. avatar Don says:

        I agree, I’m trying to end up owning a wide range of calibers in handguns and long guns, so that if TSHTF someday I can use whatever ammo I take off the bodies of the zombies/storm troopers.

  4. avatar gs650g says:

    Four rule violation right there

  5. avatar blahpony says:

    Maybe he was a James Yeager trained photographer.

    1. What took you so long?

    2. avatar Mr. 308 says:

      Oh yea this looks perfectly safe. Until the camerman gets shot.

      This is a rule violation, if you follow the rules all the time then you are safe. This is why we have the rules, to keep people safe. It’s really freaking simple, really.

      Wow, this is really unbelievable. How can all of these people be this stupid? No one said ‘wait a minute here’.

      1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        Did you miss the outcry over this?

        This one has been an on-going ‘debate’ for quite some time.

        1. avatar Mr. 308 says:

          Apparently yea, I haven’t see this one before.

          Saw all the excitement about the foot stomping and the ND, but otherwise generally ignore the dude.

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “but otherwise generally ignore the dude.”

          That I can certainly understand and relate to.

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Yep, the photographer was not in any danger at all because nothing like this could ever happen:
      (a) A sweat bee stings a shooter causing her to flinch.
      (b) A hot brass casing lands on a shooter’s neck causing him to flinch.
      (c) A malfunction causes a shooter to unintentionally discharge in a random direction down range while clearing the malfunction.
      (d) A shooter has a squib followed with a “kaboom” which causes adjacent shooters to flinch.

      Shall I continue?

      1. avatar Ebby123 says:

        Yeah but its James Yeager, that would never happen to him because… because……..

        …I had something for this.

      2. avatar Bob h says:

        Or even “decent shooter with no adverse stimuli pulls shot left or right due to poor trigger control or improper hold”. Basically, don’t stand where this guy obviously had to be standing. Period.

        I wonder if his shots will be published in memoriam

  6. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    “He was struck by a bullet from a .40 caliber pistol. … He was pronounced dead at the hospital.”

    Not possible with .40 S&W because:
    (a) .40 “short and weak” isn’t capable of doing any more damage than a BB out of a Red Ryder BB gun.
    — or —
    (b) .40 “snaps your wrist” recoil is so snappy that the shooter would never have been able to put a shot down range. (The shooter would have either shot straight up in the air due to the snappy recoil or shot down into the ground from the horrific flinch that he/she would have developed from the snappy recoil.)


    1. avatar Dr Brainwash says:

      I laughed so hard I went into a coughing fit… I was thinking myself that “this never would’ve happened” had the shooter been shooting a more acceptable, controllable round, like 9mm. Larger calibers simply cause so much devastating recoil and snappiness that rounds just start flying every which way.

      1. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

        if it was a 9mm the photographer would have survived

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          If it had been a .45, his entire family would have died. Everyone knows that.

  7. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Something like this almost happened to me while shooting a video for an upcoming review. The videographer, totally unfamiliar to guns, instead of staying behind me walked quickly around to my side while I was shooting and was actually in the process of walking in front of me when I ceased fire and lit into him. He was actually planning on getting in front of me just “not right in front of the barrel.” So you won’t be seeing a video from him, cause I wouldn’t let him stay on the range.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Mr. Taylor,

      I understand initially laying into the videographer. Sending him away for not knowing any better seems too harsh to me … unless he insisted on walking in front of the firing line after you instructed him otherwise.

      1. avatar jwtaylor says:

        UC, yes it was when he insisted that he knew what he was doing and that I had him leave. At that point, I just couldn’t trust him to be safe.

      2. avatar gs650g says:

        You lose your range visitation privilege as soon as you do something so stupid it nearly kills you.

        1. Ding ding ding. If the dog is too stupid to come in out of the rain then it’s too stupid to have around. If the cameraman is too stupid not to put his own body in front of the line he has no business there. A fool and his life are easily parted. JWT did the man a solid, probably saved his life, by ejecting him. The guy won’t but should thank JWT heartily and buy him a beer.

          Bullet wounds hurt either for months or for seconds. Neither option is desirable.

      3. avatar Mike says:

        Telling someone to leave the range who is being unsafe is not harsh it is the right thing to do

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Holy. Crap.

      Stupidity so epic, it needs two face palms.

  8. avatar AR says:

    Notice that all of the downrange videos on “American Rifleman TV” include “Remote Camera” on the screen.

    I can’t recall seeing that on any other shows, particularly “Shooting USA” where Jim and crew are particularly good on clearing any firearm as they pick it up.

  9. avatar onezero says:

    I’ve taken some decent photos of a competition, handgun & rifle. Side shots, I never went past the shooter, most of them slightly to the rear. Stepping in front of the firing line is Evolution In Action.

  10. avatar pod says:

    I do firearms photography on a semi-regular basis. When I’m operating the camera, I never cross the “180” line. I always stay behind the person shooting and use telephoto lenses if needed. Anything crazy is done via remote, or if it’s to demonstrate movement, the firearm being used is cleared and denoted with a chamber flag as such. It’s instructional, not “Hollywood”.

    You can get plenty of amazing shots and footage and still keep safety paramount, even if you lack a remote controlled camera.

  11. avatar Karlb says:

    What is really scary about this is not that the person shot was a fool, but that many of the people who go there are, too. From what I have read, there is no firing line; People simply wander down range; ATV riders use the area when people are shooting; and some shooters drink heavily while they are shooting. This seems to be a perfect place to avoid. Stupid people doing stupid things, and all . . .

    1. avatar CarlS says:

      You nailed it with the “stupid people doing stupid things” in stupid places. That area is just a big free for all recreation area. There are no rules and no attempts at a form of coordination. People doing whatever all over the place: riding atvs, mountain bikes, hiking, exercising their pets, climbing the cliffs, and anything else you can think of both sober and intoxicated. I’m honestly suprised it doesn’t end badly more often.

      I’ve refused to go near the place in 20 years because of this. There’s four actual ranges within an hour of there and a free one 20 minutes away.

  12. avatar wrightl3 says:

    Play stupid games, win stupid prizes?

  13. avatar FormerWaterWalker says:

    Well duh. Condolences to the family. I hope the shooter is not too shook up. Or charged…

  14. avatar tresk21 says:

    This is why I hate going to public ranges on National Forest land. Too many times I’ve seen idiots just start walking down range to set targets without saying anything.

  15. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Nough said

  16. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Ignorance is curable. Stupidity isn’t.

    Many photographers have tried this at my range to get action shots. Unless it is a remote rig, the request is always refused.

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