Cobb County

Cobb man convicted of murdering man, shooting himself in the eye while drunkenly waving gun around

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County jury has found a man guilty of murder and he’s now set to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Earlier this month, 24-year-old Elias Bustamente was convicted of shooting and killing a man before trying to kill himself in 2020.

Prosecutors say Bustamente was drunk on Fourth of July 2020 when he pulled out a gun and began showing it off at a Smyrna party.

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In the early morning hours of July 5, Michael Arreola told Bustamente to put the gun away because there were kids in the home, including Arreola’s infant daughter.

That’s when prosecutors say Bustamente turned the gun on the victim and fired three shots, striking him twice in the chest and once in the leg.

Bustamente then turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the eye in an attempt to commit suicide.

Arreola died from his injuries, but Bustamente did not. He was subsequently arrested.


“As parents, our job is to protect our children. Michael was trying to do just that by urging the defendant to stop drunkenly flaunting his gun in fear that it would accidentally discharge. The defendant maliciously murdered him because of it. Michael bled out just steps away from his little girl,” said Cobb Judicial Circuit Senior Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Green.

Bustamante was convicted of malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and possession of a firearm by a probationer.

Earlier this week, he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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