Skip to main content

Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch Season 19 continues on with fan-favorite cast members like Sig Hansen, Sean Dwyer, and “Wild” Bill Wichrowski. The show features the dangers of fishing in the Bering Sea — but it seems there are also dangers on land. An associate producer of the show died via gunshot wounds. Here’s what to know about the strange Deadliest Catch death that didn’t occur on a boat.

‘Deadliest Catch’ associate producer Joe McMahon died from gunshot wounds

Fans know of several Deadliest Catch deaths that occurred through the years, but the death of Joe McMahon remains mysterious. McMahon was an associate producer with the show when he died. He was reportedly shot and killed outside of his Pasadena, California, home, at just 24 years old.

The police responded to a call regarding possible gunshots at 2:19 a.m. in July 2015. Police arrived to find McMahon on the street with several gunshot wounds. The associate producer was announced dead at the scene.

According to investigators, McMahon left his house just before the shooting, and his death didn’t appear to be associated with gangs or drugs.

“We are heartsick about this tragedy — our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all that knew and worked with him,” Discovery stated in the wake of the shooting, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The entire Original Productions Family is heartbroken with this news,” the company’s CEO, Philip D. Segal,” also stated. “Our thoughts and prayers are for the McMahon Family.”

The shooting suspect was later found dead

The tragic Deadliest Catch death surely impacted Discovery and those who worked with Joe McMahon on the series. And it seems his death still remains somewhat of a mystery, as the main suspect was also later found dead.

According to The Wrap, police found the suspect in his car with “what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound” that killed him. The suspect’s vehicle was in the Los Angeles Police Department – West Los Angeles Division area. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department believes the suspect died of an apparent suicide.

Other reports suggest McMahon knew the suspect from high school. It remains unclear why the suspect would target the Deadliest Catch associate producer.

Joe McMahon isn’t the only person associated with ‘Deadliest Catch’ to have died


‘Deadliest Catch’: Where Is F/V Lady Alaska?

Several Deadliest Catch cast members have died through the years, though only a few of those deaths are related to crab fishing.

In 2021, Todd Kochutin died from an accident on the F/V Patricia Lee. He was fatally injured after getting hit with an 800-pound crab pot. Captain Phil Harris also died aboard a crab boat. In January 2010, he had a massive stroke while on the F/V Cornelia Marie, and he died a week later. Deckhand Mahlon Reyes died of a heart attack in July 2020 at just 38 years old.

Drug overdoses also took the lives of several Deadliest Catch cast members. Nick McGlashan died in December 2020 due to a drug overdose that occurred in Tennessee. Blake Painter also died of an apparent drug overdose in his home in Oregon. While he hadn’t been on the show in a decade, the Deadliest Catch cast and crew still felt the loss.

How to get help: In the U.S., call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to speak with a trained crisis counselor at the free Crisis Text Line.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

Deadliest Catch Season 19 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery Channel.

For more on the entertainment world and exclusive interviews, subscribe to Showbiz Cheat Sheet’s YouTube channel.