A Crescent City man died after apparently being shot by his girlfriend with a rifle Sunday night near the town of Smith River in Del Norte County.
The Del Norte County Sheriff's Office issued a press release Monday stating it received a call at about 9:50 p.m. Sunday reporting that a person had been shot with a rifle near a turnout on the rural Rowdy Creek Road, less than one mile from U.S. Highway 101 and Smith River.
Jeffrey Bartley, 43, was allegedly shot by 34-year-old Crescent City resident Misty Fitzhugh. Del Norte County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Bill Steven said the two were in a relationship. He said it's unclear what the pair were doing at the turnout. Bartley said that law enforcement officials have had prior contact with Fitzhugh.
The release stated officials with the Smith River Fire Department and Del Norte Ambulance treated Bartley once sheriff's deputies declared the scene safe. Bartley was transported to Sutter Coast Hospital, where he later died.
Fitzhugh was arrested and booked into the Del Norte County jail on suspicion of felony murder. The incident is still under investigation.
Steven said the sheriff's office is still trying to gather evidence and determine a motive.
”The detectives will be spending quite a bit of time on it,” Steven said. “They've been working on it all day.”
He said the sheriff's office will likely be sending out another press release later this week with more details.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Del Norte County Sheriff's Office at 464-4191.
Del Norte County Deputy Coroner Mike Henderson said a full autopsy on Bartley is scheduled for today.