A Florida man is facing a capital murder charge after allegedly attacking his girlfriend, killing her and injuring her roommate, early Sunday morning.
Christopher Pequeen, 33, is facing multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. Pequeen’s girlfriend, who was not identified, allegedly told her roommate that she was afraid Pequeen might kill her after the two had argued that morning.
His girlfriend allegedly told her female roommate that Pequeen “held his hand over her nose and mouth so that she could not breathe” and that she wanted to get a restraining order against him. Pequeen then entered the roommate’s bedroom with a gun, pointing a gun at the two women and another male roommate, the sheriff’s office said.
Pequeen allegedly shot his girlfriend “multiple times” and her female roommate was also shot while trying to shield her, the sheriff’s office said. The two roommates gave Pequeen their cell phones and ran to a neighbor’s home to call 911.
The women were taken to a local hospital, where the girlfriend died, and her roommate was in stable condition.
Pequeen was arrested after fleeing the scene, and allegedly trying to hide the cellphones and gun, the sheriff’s office said. The 33-year-old has a criminal history of 18 felonies and 17 misdemeanors.
"This is an example of how horrific domestic violence can become," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement. "Christopher Pequeen is a coward and a murderer."
Polk County court records show Pequeen was sentenced to two years in jail in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to an attempted felony battery charge. A felony conviction is disqualifying condition to obtaining a firearm license in the state of Florida unless a person has had their rights restored by the state’s office of executive clemency.
It is unclear how he came to be in possession of a gun, the sheriff’s office told NBC News on Monday.
Pequeen had not yet appeared in court and was in custody in the Polk County Jail on Monday afternoon. Inmate records show Pequeen is not eligible for bond and does not have an attorney listed for representation.
Capital murder is punishable by death or life in prison in the state of Florida. There are 339 inmates currently on death row in Florida.