Matthew Wright, the 25-year-old Palm Coast man involved in what appears to be an attempted murder-suicide Thursday afternoon, had spent most of his adult life in prison. He’d been out less than a year when he died Thursday of what authorities are reporting as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, after shooting his girlfriend, Gia Troutman, four times. He’d been flown to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach after the 5:15 p.m. double-shooting at 1B Bunker Knolls Lane.
Troutman, 23, is in critical condition at Halifax. She was shot in her left thigh and in the abdomen. She had called 911 shortly after 5 p.m. and screamed to the dispatcher that her boyfriend had just shot himself, begging the dispatcher to hurry up. “I’m going numb, I can’t feel my legs,” she told the dispatcher. Her boyfriend was not breathing, she told 911.
The call disconnected, but a different dispatcher was able to reach her again moments later and tried variously to get information about what had happened, but Troutman was too distraught and fearful. “I just dragged my body to the front, I don’t know what’s going on,” she said. “Please hurry up,” she kept repeating and screaming either in pain or in fear, or both.
Trotman’s mother had called the Sheriff’s Office from Miami–where Troutman is originally from, in the Homestead area: she had attended Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach–to request a “welfare check” after getting a call from her daughter, who told her that she’d been in a fight with her boyfriend. When her mother tried to call her again, she was not able to reach her. It isn’t clear when Troutman’s mother reached the Sheriff’s Office.
Wight’s sister was at the duplex when sheriff’s deputies arrived, distraught and unable to get in. She was emotional and kept trying to get in the garage, where the fight had taken place, to perform CPR on her brother. Deputies had to remove her from the scene and detain her. The recording of the second call, which the Sheriff’s Office released, includes some of the exchanges between a deputy and Wright’s sister as he urges her to get out of the house.
Wright was breathing when deputies arrived, but with difficulties. Two emergency helicopters landed at the Indian Trails Sports Complex but only one of them took a patient–Wright–to Halifax. Trotman was taken there by ambulance.
Wright’s mother told authorities that she and Wright’s sister were in Bunnell when Troutman contacted them and said that Wright had locked her in the garage, according to a sheriff’s report. They drove to the B-Section. They’d neared the house when Troutman contacted them again and said by text that Wright had shot her. Wright’s mother then called 911.
Wright was a felon several times over, and was not legally allowed to have a gun. He was arrested on numerous felony charges when he was 17 after a crime spree that had drawn media attention then, including his being pulled out of class at Flagler Palm Coast High School to be arrested. He’d attempted burglary of what used to be Wilson Gun Store at St. Joe Plaza.
The alarm spooked him and two accomplices, but they were stopped by deputies. He’d also faced burglary and grand theft charges that same year, stealing a television from an R-Section home, and another burglary and fleeing and eluding charge after breaking into another R-Section home. He was found guilty on most of those charges, pleading out in exchange for some of the charges to be dropped. He was sentenced to five years in prison. He was released in June 2018 and was on five years’ probation, but was charged with a felony cocaine possession count less than four months later and again sentenced to prison, serving almost two years until just before last Christmas.
“Unfortunately, this is another example of how a domestic situation can spiral out of control behind closed doors,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “A young woman is fighting for her life because in a moment of rage, her boyfriend thought violence was the answer. The suspect won’t be a threat to anyone ever again. We are praying for the victim and hoping the victim can recover from her injuries. Violence is never the answer and if you are in a volatile situation, you can escape and resources are available to help you.”