Man shoots, kills woman searching for lost dog, deputies say

Front of the Florida property where Rawson was shot and killed, with Eugene Matthews inset. (WFLA and Manatee County Sheriff’s Office)

PARRISH, FL — A Manatee County woman was shot and killed in her neighborhood while looking for a lost dog, deputies said.

Rebecca Rawson and two family members showed up at a home along Pritchart Road Tuesday night to retrieve her dog Bart. One of them went to the door, knocked, and called the dog’s name. The dog came to the door, and one of the family members picked up the dog.

That’s when deputies claim Eugene Matthews, 83, opened the front door and started shooting.

He fired the handgun into the air, deputies say, and one of the shots went through the windshield of the vehicle parked in the driveway, striking Rebecca Rawson, who was in the driver’s seat.

She was taken to a local hospital where she died, the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

It’s believed no one else was hurt.

A photograph of the home showed a guard tower adorned with a POW/MIA flag, and a cross with a sign reading “VETERANS HELPING VETERANS,” as well as a number of flags on a flagpole.

Matthews is charged with 2nd degree murder.

He’s expected in a Manatee County Courtroom Wednesday afternoon, a jail worker said.