Teen Shot In Domestic Dispute

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Dustin D. Smith, 21, was arrested by Payson police last night, around 10:20 p.m., following a domestic disturbance in which a 17-year-old female was shot in the abdomen.

Smith was booked into the Gila County jail on charges of aggravated assault and child abuse.

The child abuse charge was added after it was determined the female victim was holding a 6-month-old baby when the teenager was shot.

According to Lt. Don Engler, police were called to the couple's residence in the 300 block of East Zurich, following a call from Smith reporting that the female had been accidentally shot.

The shooting remains under investigation. However, police determined initially that Smith and the victim had been arguing for an unknown period of time. At one point, Smith was locked out of the house by the victim. He got back into the house by crawling through a doggie door.

At some point, Engler said a struggle ensued over a .22-caliber rifle which discharged a bullet into the victim's lower abdomen.

Engler said the victim was transported to Payson Regional Medical Center, where she is expected to undergo surgery to remove the bullet.

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