Bartow man kills girlfriend in ‘horrific’ domestic violence incident, police say

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Polk Co. Sheriff’s Office

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man after he shot and killed his girlfriend Sunday morning in Bartow.

Polk deputies arrested 33-year-old Christopher Pequeen for first-degree murder, attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon after the shooting left his girlfriend dead and their roommate injured.

Deputies said Pequeen and his girlfriend had recently moved into a Bartow apartment with another couple. The male roommate told detectives that Pequeen and his girlfriend, the victim, had been arguing early Sunday morning. During or after the argument, the girlfriend entered the other couple’s room and told her roommates that “she was scared that Pequeen was going to kill her.”

The woman told her roommates Pequeen had held his hand over her nose and mouth so she couldn’t breathe. She also reportedly stated she wanted to obtain a restraining order against him.

The roommates told detectives Pequeen entered the bedroom and pointed a gun at all three of them. He allegedly hit the female roommate in the face with the pistol then shot his girlfriend multiple times. As the female roommate attempted to shield the victim, Pequeen shot her as well, the sheriff’s office said.

Pequeen then pointed the gun at the male roommate and demanded all of their cellphones. He obliged and Pequeen fled the scene on foot.

The roommates ran to a neighbor’s apartment and called 911. They were transported to a local hospital, but the girlfriend did not survive. The female roommate is currently in stable condition.

Pequeen was located, arrested, and booked in the Polk County Jail on the following charges:

  • First Degree Murder
  • Attempted First Degree Murder
  • Shooting Into a Building
  • Tampering with Physical Evidence
  • Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon without Intent to Kill
  • Robbery with a Firearm
  • Tampering in Felony Life Proceeding
  • Battery of a Police Dog
  •  Resisting an Officer without Violence

Pequeen’s criminal history includes 18 felony charges and 17 misdemeanors, charges such as battery domestic violence, aggravated assault domestic violence with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, dealing in stolen property, date rape, and drug charges.

“This is an example of how horrific domestic violence can become,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Christopher Pequeen is a coward and a murderer. We will do everything we can to make sure justice is done in this case.”

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