Dwight Lansing Death: What Happened to Scott Eaker?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: .357 Magnum’ follows two distinct cases, one of which is the accidental death of 23-year-old Dwight Lansing in Colorado in July 1987. This particular matter actually revolves around how carelessness and negligence resulted in the loss of a young life and scarred two others forever. So, if you wish to know the details of the same, we’ve got you covered.

How Did Dwight Lansing Die?

Dwight Lansing was born in Montana but had moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for higher studies. As per a local news reporter, the 23-year-old was “a good guy” who was making “that young man’s journey where you go far away from home, and he was toughing it out.” Dwight loved guns and old cowboy films, which is why his dad had recently mailed him a replica of a Colt peacemaker along with ammunition.

But alas, it resulted in officers of the Colorado Springs Police Department receiving a call from dispatch on July 17, 1987, stating that a shooting had occurred on the east side of town. Upon reaching the scene, they were told a young man had accidentally shot himself while playing with his firearm. That youngster was none other than Dwight, and the original 911 call was made by his friend, 18-year-old Dave Garrett. 

Who Killed Dwight Lansing?

Dave subsequently told officers that he, Dwight, and their mutual friend, 18-year-old Scott Eaker, had gone to a nearby field to try out Dwight’s gun; they’d spent all day with it, loading it and shooting empty beer cans. After returning home late at night, he continued he went to call his girlfriend and was in the neighboring room when he heard a bang from the hallway. He immediately ran over, only to find Dwight lying on the ground and Scott urging him to dial 911 for help.

The investigators also questioned Scott, who was the lone witness of the entire incident. His narrative was the same as his friend’s, but he did further add that Dwight was twirling the gun with his fingers when he accidentally shot himself. However, discrepancies between their testimonies and the evidence at the crime scene soon came to light. The boys had claimed their friend was standing in the hallway when the gun went off, but the blood spatter suggested otherwise.

Officials also noted that the single-action large caliber handgun, a .357 magnum, was in Dwight’s left hand. Yet, when they questioned his girlfriend, Tracy Lee, she told them that he was right-handed, making the entire scene seem like a setup. They thus became convinced that Dwight’s friends had lied and brought them down to the station. They’d also learned Tracy previously used to date Scott, making them consider a love triangle and jealousy as positive motives. 

The officers decided to interrogate Dave first, and the nervous teen immediately agreed to tell them the whole truth. While most of his earlier testimony was true, he had hidden a significant aspect from them. He claimed to have seen Scott putting the gun in their friend’s hand when he had rushed to the scene upon hearing the gunshot. Armed with this critical piece of information, investigators went to interrogate Scott, who had quickly become their prime suspect.

Scott almost immediately broke down and admitted that he’d done something stupid. He said he was pointing the gun toward Dwight when he accidentally pressed the trigger and shot his best friend. He insisted that he had no idea the gun had been reloaded and would have never intentionally harmed Dwight. The claim was soon corroborated by Dave, who admitted Scott was actually in the restroom when the latter was loading the weapon and did not have any knowledge of the fact. Hearing both testimonies, the investigators finally pieced through what had happened earlier that night.

Where is Scott Eaker Today?

After returning home on that fateful evening, Dwight reloaded the firearm while Scott was in the toilet, and the latter returned to play with the same, only to end up shooting his friend. He then panicked and foolishly tried to stage the scene to throw off suspicion, which an equally frantic Dave agreed to help him put with. Officers thus established that the shooting was a pure accident, so the District Attorney’s office decided not to press any charges against Scott Eaker.

Furthermore, Dwight’s family also made it clear they did not intend to pursue this matter legally since they believed Scott would not intentionally hurt his friend. Coming to his current standing, from what we can tell, Scott, now in his early 50s, leads a private life and has been trying to move on from this unfortunate incident to the best of his abilities. Respecting his wish for privacy, we have not decided to publish his current address or any of his recent personal or professional experiences.

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