Man accused of fatally shooting woman

Woman searching for lost dog fatally shot by elderly man

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An elderly man in Manatee County, Florida, is accused of fatally shooting a woman who was helping her family search for a lost dog. According to Wednesday’s publication of the Bradenton Herald, 83-year-old Eugene F. Matthews allegedly killed the woman with a handgun after the woman’s daughter, and her son-in-law, knocked on Matthews’ door around 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

The victim, identified as 65-year-old Rebecca Rawson, was still in her car when Matthews allegedly turned the gun in her direction – she was hit by a bullet that went through the car windshield. According to the Associated Press, nobody else at the scene was injured in the bizarre situation.

Matthews was taken into custody and he is facing a charge of second-degree murder.

(Booking photo via Manatee County Sheriff’s Office)

16 replies
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    Oh my Lord! What in the world was this man thinking? That poor family, I can’t imagine being killed like this for no good reason. Rest in peace Ms Rawson, and prayers for your family. I hope gun happy 83-year-old Eugene F. Matthews never sees the outside of jail again!

  2. Stephen Lee Phillips says:

    Yet again? Screw the Second Amendment, and all it’s fanatical acolytes who have misinterpreted (“reinterpreted”) it’s original intent!
    You can’t explain away THIS one: Any other “lethal weapon” would NOT have had this result!

  3. pennysdachshund says:

    So Tragic!!! FOR EVERYONE!!! The family just out looking to find their pet & this ELDERLY MAN who could have been afraid they were there to rob or harm him. suffering from dementia, or just plain scared because of the Total amounts of Criminal Activities and Robberies and Murders in his area!!! Wow

    • Barkley's Mom says:

      There is a lot missing from this story, I googled Matthews and this is what I found:

      Just before 7 p.m. Tuesday, Rawson, her brother-in-law and daughter had gone to Matthews’ home in the 12900 block of Pritchart Road in Parrish to get her husband’s dog, according to the sheriff’s office. Rawson’s husband, Matthews’ best friend, had died only a week prior.

      Rawson’s brother-in-law, 62, knocked on Matthews’ front door, and Matthews’ girlfriend answered. The victim’s brother-in-law called for the dog, “Bart,” picked him up and began to walk away.

      As he walked away, Matthews came out, armed with a handgun and started shooting, the family later told detectives with the Manatee Homicide Investigative Unit. Three shots were fired, as the Rawson family quickly tried to flee. One shot struck the windshield and hit Rebecca Rawson in the face.

      Matthews’ family said he acted in self-defense, claiming that the Rawson family had come barreling through the gated and fenced entrance to the property and kicked down the front door. But the sheriff’s office said that account contradicts the eyewitness statements and the evidence from the scene.

      Read more here:

      Personally, If this man was suffering from “dementia” his girlfriend should have mad sure he didn’t have access to a gun. I don’t think this guy thought he was being robbed or going to be hurt. I don’t know why Matthews had the dog, but supposedly he knew the widow and her family so why he saw fit to shoot at them and kill this poor woman who just wanted her deceased husband’s dog back is a mystery to me.

      • pennysdachshund says:

        Thank you for taking the time to let me know what you found on this story… Strange and sad indeed. There again we have this issue of the Constitution and the Rights of Each and Every Individual it Involves ! I am pretty sure our Fore Father’s when doing the Constitution Never Deemed several hundred years We would be addressing all the issues! This is one instance instead of taking the issue into their own hands maybe the law should have been notified… Problem is we never know : in his grief over the loss of his best friend it appears this ( yes, very disturbed man, with grief, loss, dementia only a psychologist /mental health could determine was obsessed in having his dog.! wow Also family is often ‘tunnel vision ” orientated when it comes to determining if your loved one is unstable!!

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        I still don’t understand why he had the dog, unless he was keeping it for the family while they dealt with Ms Rawson’s husbands death. And why would he shoot at people he should have known. Anyway you look at it, there needs to be laws that keep guns out of the hands of 83 year olds that might possibly be suffering from dementia or other debilitating problems. This poor family had suffered the loss of the husband and now the murder of his wife. It’s just so sad. I’m sure they just thought they were going over to a friend’s house to pick up their dog and the Police didn’t need to be involved.

  4. Edward says:

    If that’s the case then he should have got help before and should not of course that have gone through this b******* thing and screw the world because she lost her life when she should have not


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  1. […] Woman searching for lost dog fatally shot by elderly man – An elderly man in Manatee County, Florida, is accused of fatally shooting a woman who was helping her family search for a lost dog. According to Wednesday’s publication of the Bradenton Herald, 83-year-old Eugene F. … […]

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