Man confronting bear accidentally kills brother, takes his own life

FILE A black bear in Tongass National Forest, Alaska, in 2011. (Forest Service File Photo)

Authorities say a man in Oregon trying to protect his home from a bear instead fatally shot his brother by mistake, then killed himself.

Josephine County Undersheriff Travis Snyder said the man called 911 just before 7 a.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers he had "accidentally shot his brother while loading a gun" after seeing the bear on their property.

Deputies went to the home in Sunny Valley, an unincorporated community off Interstate 5 in the southwest corner of the state. There they found a man dead from a gunshot wound.

Snyder said they checked the home and found a second man dead. He had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

They believe the caller took his own life after calling 911 to report the accidental shooting.

Police say the case remains under investigation and will be forwarded to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.

Oregon State Police and local deputies continue to investigate the shootings.

There are approximately 30,000 black bears in Oregon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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