A man killed by a bear in Prescott National Forest Friday morning has been identified by authorities as 66-year-old Tucsonan Steven Jackson.
Kristin Greene of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said in a press conference that the attack was unprovoked. Jackson was building a cabin in the Groom Creek Area of the forest and was sitting in a chair at his campsite when he was attacked.
According to Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes, neighbors heard Jackson screaming and calling out for help. They attempted to intervene by honking their car horns. The bear dragged Jackson about 75 yards and was “beginning to consume” Jackson, Sheriff Rhodes said, when a neighbor with a firearm shot and killed the bear.
Rhodes said there was no evidence that neighbors had been feeding the bear and no reports of the bear being in the area or threatening anyone else.
Darren Tucker, field supervisor with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said the bear was an adult male black bear, between 6 and 10 years old. Tucker said it is common to see bears in the area, but there have been zero reports of aggressive bears in the area recently.
Tucker said the attack appeared to be predatory in nature.