Bullet in Sitka city hall roof may be from ‘celebratory’ gunfire

Sitka Police Department.
Sitka Police Department. (Photo by Karla James/KCAW)

“Please don’t shoot guns in the air.” That was Sitka Police Lieutenant John Achee’s message to Sitkans on Nov. 3.

Earlier this week, Sitka city maintenance staff tracked down a small leak and noticed a bullet hole in the roof of Sitka’s city hall. After digging into the insulation, they found what they believe to be a .45 caliber bullet.

Police think it’s the result of celebratory gun fire in the area. Achee said it likely happened sometime in the last week.

“People being silly and foolish and shooting guns in the air,” said Achee. “Bullets that go up must come down.”

He said it’s likely the bullet landed on the roof of city hall when the building was unoccupied, and that’s lucky. Shooting a gun without regard for the risk of physical injury to a person or damage to property is a misdemeanor offense. The department is sending the bullet to the state crime lab to “codify” it.

“Like a fingerprint for the bullet. And that bullet’s fingerprint will be entered into the national database,” Achee said. “At which point, if law enforcement ever runs into that gun again, that particular firearm that fires that particular bullet, then we have an idea for further investigation as to who may be culpable for the crime that was committed.”

The police department is asking for anyone with information to call Sitka Police at 747-3245.