CHATTAROY, Wash. — The man accused of killing his grandfather in Chattaroy Wednesday night was recently released from a local hospital after being involuntarily committed, documents said.
Court documents said Trystn Higgins, 24, had been staying with his grandparents in Chattaroy. While they were both out of the house, he found a shotgun and waited for one of them to get home to shoot and kill them, according to an affidavit filed in Spokane County District Court on Dec. 6.
When Santos Higgins, Trystn’s grandmother, arrived home she found her husband, Gerald Higgins, dead in their garage, documents said. She told dispatchers she believed their grandson killed him.
During an interview with deputies, Santos said a week ago, Trystn was involved in an altercation that led to him being involuntarily committed to a hospital. Doctors released him to her and Gerald's care on Nov. 28.
According to documents, when Santos left home Wednesday morning she believed Gerald and Tyrstn were at home together. She said throughout the day she had been texting Trystn and the communication seemed fine, documents said. She told deputies her last communication with him was at 5:00 p.m. when he asked her to bring home cupcakes.
Santos said she got home at about 6:40 p.m. and she noticed Gerald’s Chevy truck was not there and she thought no one was home. Court documents said she noticed things throughout the home had been moved. She told deputies her credit cards were missing and a revolver pistol case was sitting on a bed, not where it would normally be kept.
According to court documents, Santos called Gerald’s phone, but he didn’t answer.
“Santos went outside and to the unattached garage to the north of the home. When she walked inside, she found Gerald’s body face down in a puddle of blood,” documents said.
Santos said she backed out of the garage and called 911. Documents said she found a large amount of blood outside the garage and what appeared to be drag marks leading to Gerald’s body.
Court documents said when deputies searched the home, they “observed what appeared to be a rifle style firearm wrapped in a blanket sitting on a bed in one of the bedrooms.”
When Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit arrived on scene, they put in a request to have Gerald’s truck be marked as stolen and included Trystn as a person of interest in the homicide and to consider him armed and dangerous, documents said.
According to documents, a Spokane police officer located the stolen truck and did a traffic stop. They identified the driver as Trystn and arrested him for murder.
During an interview, Trystn told investigators that “while Gerald and Santos were at work he searched the garage/shop for a gun and found a shotgun,” documents said. He told investigators that “his intent was to shoot Gerald or Santos.”
Trystn said, “he found ‘red shells’ and loaded the shotgun and put it in his downstairs bedroom of the home and took a nap,” documents explained.
Documents said at one point, Trystn texted Gerald who told him he would be home from work around 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.
“When Gerald arrived he greeted him outside and then went inside the home to retrieve the shotgun. Trystn said he shot Gerald outside then put the shotgun back inside the home and placed it under blankets,” documents stated.
According to documents, Trystn said he drug Gerald into the garage and took money from his wallet and placed a rug over Gerald. He said he loaded up Gerald’s truck with items from the home including credit cards he found in his grandparents’ room. He was also wearing necklaces that he had taken from his grandparents, according to documents.
Documents said Trystn told investigators he shot Gerald because “he came home first.”
Higgins has been charged with first-degree murder and made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon. A judge set his bond at $500,000.