- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 2, 2016

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Fairbanks police say an Army sergeant died when he unknowingly fired a loaded gun to his head when trying to show a friend the weapon wasn’t loaded.

Police in a Tuesday statement say 25-year-old Sgt. Nathan Michael Higginbotham died early Sunday.

Police say Higginbotham had consumed alcohol and was a friend’s home in Fairbanks. He was in the process of confirming his .40 caliber Springfield XD was unloaded. Police initially said the gun was a 9 mm pistol.

Police say Higginbotham ran the slide on the firearm, ejecting the loaded magazine. But they say he didn’t clear the chamber of the live round, which had been loaded when he ran the slide.

The native of Schenectady, New York, entered active duty in 2010. He deployed to Iraq in 2011, was assigned to the Fort Wainwright, near Fairbanks, in 2013.

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