Suspect Says He Accidentally Shot Aunt While on Meth


A Fort Smith shooting suspect tells 5NEWS he accidentally shot his aunt while high on methamphetamine.

Dustin Trowbridge, 19, was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder around 6 a.m. at a house at 1319 North Greenwood in the death of his aunt 25-year-old Rita Anderson, according to Fort Smith Police.

Police say Trowbridge is suspected of shooting her with a 9mm handgun. She was found dead inside a home at 3512 Pryor Ave. Police on scene said the 911 call came in just after midnight.  trowbridge

As Trowbridge was escorted into the Sebastian County Detention Center, 5NEWS Reporter Christine Whitten asked him about the incident.

“Did you shoot her?” Whitten asked.

“It went off. I didn’t pull the trigger,” Trowbridge said. “It started off pointed at me at first, and it wasn’t even loaded, and I didn’t even know it was loaded, then I pointed it at her and we had hurt feelings and harsh words and when she slapped it, it went off and and I dropped it and I got down there and put her in my arms and she bled out all over me.”

Trowbridge said he had been high on methamphetamine for the last several days and that he was on the drug when he shot his aunt.

“Are you on them right now?”

“Yes,” Trowbridge said.

Trowbridge tells 5NEWS that his aunt’s sons were inside the house at the time of the shooting. The children, ages 2 and 6, are in DHS custody. Anderson’s live-in boyfriend 23-year-old Zachary Dunn also at the residence at the time, according to a police report.

Dunn told police that Trowbridge shot Anderson in the head while she was in the bedroom. Trowbridge also said the gun was not his and that he found it.

“Over in the streets over there by where some people that I knew I had beef with, that were trying to kill me, had it,” Trowbridge said.

Police found the gun discarded in a trash can outside the residence.

Trowbridge said he and his aunt were arguing about family matters right before the gun went off.

“Because of the fact that I haven’t been there and her ex-husband has been coming over there and turning trashcans upside down, trying to get in there to her,” he said.

Dunn told police the Trowbridge left the house in Anderson’s vehicle, according to a police report. The stolen vehicle was found about a block away from the residence.

In addition to first degree murder, Trowbridge is charged with felony theft of property. He is being held without bond at the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center.

Anderson’s body will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for an autopsy.

Stay with 5NEWS for more as this story develops.

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