A man lit his girlfriend and three small children on fire after holding them at gunpoint and covering them with gasoline as he drove, authorities said. The car crashed into flames in a small town near Tacoma, Wash. All five died.
The incident appears to be an escalation of domestic violence.
The woman, Antigone Monique Allen, 18, lived for nine hours after the crash, and was able to tell investigators her account of the incident before she died at a Seattle hospital.
She said the man, whom she was involved with, held a gun on them, poured gasoline on all, and used a lighter to set them on fire while he drove the car. Witnesses saw both adults running outside of the car at the scene of the crash. The man fired four or five shots at Allen with the gun as she ran away into a nearby pasture. It is not yet known whether the bullets hit her.
Allen had recently filed an assault complaint against the 24-year-old man, whom she had been involved with off and on, authorities said.
The man, who was not identified, died before reaching the hospital.
The bodies of the three children, aged 6 months, 1 ½ years, and 2 ½ years, were found in the back of the burned car. It was not clear if the man was the father of one or more of the children.
Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer said a deputy had been assigned to Allen’s case after she filed assault complaints against the man, but Allen didn’t follow through. The woman’s family said there had been domestic abuse that had gone unreported leading up to the incident.