Caleb Rockafield is pictured with his mother, Diane. Contributed photographs.
Caleb Rockafield is pictured with his mother, Diane. Contributed photographs.
A St. Germain man and soldier is dead after his roommate fatally shot him with an AR-15 rifle in Anchorage, Alaska. 

Caleb Rockafield, 20, had been assigned to the U.S Army’s 6th Brigade Engineer Battalion (Airborne) and was recently discharged. 

Charged with manslaughter in the crime is Samuel J. Fair, 22, an Army paratrooper assigned to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, stationed in Anchorage. His home state is Indiana. 

Fair has testified the incident was “an accident,” according to court reports. 

According to witnesses and family members, Rockafield and Fair were said to be “close friends.” They met while serving at Joint Base Elmendorf — Richardson, according to Rockafield’s mother, Diane Rockafield, St. Germain. 

Together, Fair and Rockafield went to a neighbor’s apartment to play video games on the evening of Nov. 5. There, Fair asked about an AR-15 rifle one of the residents had for sale. 

Another apartment renter noted the weapon was loaded and told Fair to check it before he removed the magazine. As the renter played video games, he told police he heard a “pop” and Rockafield fell to the ground, yelling. 

It soon became apparent Rockafield had been shot in the back, investigators were told. 911 was phoned by residents.

Witnesses noted Fair put down the AR-15 and left the apartment before returning, crying and stating he didn’t know what had happened but he’d accidentally shot Rockafield. 

Another witness relayed she saw Fair holding the firearm, which emitted a green laser light pointing near herself and Rockafield. 

Fair’s girlfriend, who lived with Fair and Rockafield, recalled Fair was crying and “hysterical” that evening, stating he’d accidentally shot Rockafield.

Rockafield was having difficulty breathing when ambulance personnel arrived. He was transported to the area hospital but didn’t survive.

Fair was initially charged with felony reckless endangerment and assault. It was amended shortly thereafter to felony manslaughter (death not murder). 

A $200,000 cash bond was set for Fair. 

Rockafield is the son of Mark and Diane Rockafield of St. Germain. 

“He is greatly loved and greatly missed,” Diane Rockafield said. 

A 2018 graduate of Northland Pines High School, Rockafield was in the U.S. Army Future Soldier Training Program. 

Rockafield enlisted for Airborne school while still a student, which he completed at Fort Benning, Georgia after basic combat training, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and engineer school at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. 

Fair also is a construction equipment repairer at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.