Killed in ‘Highly Unusual’ Attack

Scene of Bear Attack

( – On Friday, a 66-year-old man named Steven Jackson met his demise when a bear in Arizona unexpectedly attacked him. The incident occurred in the remote, wooded region of Groom Creek, near Prescott, approximately 100 miles north of Phoenix. The bear attack was deemed “highly unusual” by authorities, as it was unprovoked.

Jackson, a Tucson resident, was building a cabin in the area. He was sitting outside his campsite early in the morning, just before 8 a.m., when the bear launched its sudden assault. The Yavapai County Sheriff, David Rhodes, informed that the bear had dragged him a significant distance, nearly 75 yards, and was consuming him.

Even though nearby residents heard Jackson’s distress calls and tried to frighten the bear away by shouting and honking vehicle horns, their attempts were in vain. Ultimately, one neighbor resorted to grabbing a firearm and shooting the bear. Unfortunately, by this point, Jackson had already succumbed to his injuries.

911 dispatchers received multiple calls reporting a man undergoing a bear mauling. Sheriff Rhodes described the scene upon arrival as inducing “shock and disbelief,” labeling the event as an uncommon and tragic circumstance. Jackson was well-respected and liked within the close-knit community.

According to Darren Tucker from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the bear involved was a healthy adult male black bear. Tucker indicated that there were no visible signs of sickness or disease. He stated, “This attack appears to be predatory in nature,” noting that such incidents are extremely rare.

Typically, bear attacks are connected to food, Tucker explained, something they will investigate during their investigation. However, no clear reasons were immediately evident for this incident. A comprehensive examination of the bear, a necropsy, might reveal more about the motivations behind the attack.

Before this incident, there had been no reports of aggressive or threatening behavior from bears in that region. Wildlife officials were not seeking the bear involved in this attack. Now that the bear has been killed, there is no immediate threat to public safety, reassured the authorities.

In response to Friday’s incident, the local sheriff’s office has advised residents against shooting bears unless they pose an immediate threat, as it is generally illegal.

John Trierweiler, the Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesperson clarified that only black bears inhabit Arizona and that such attacks are infrequent. This incident marks the 15th reported bear attack in the state since the late 1980s and the second fatal one. The previous deadly bear attack occurred in Pinetop in 2011.