What started as a domestic dispute ended with a Connecticut man shooting his girlfriend dead in front of the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, police said.
Rashod Akeem Newton, 27, and Allesia Mesquita, 28, got into an argument while driving with their little girl in the backseat of their car just after 9 a.m. on Monday morning, New Haven Police Department Acting Chief Renee Dominguez said in a press conference provided by WFSB.
Newton then allegedly pushed Mesquita from the vehicle and fatally shot the mother of two, the television station reported.
“I thought it was a car backfiring,” Dara Norwood, who lives near the murder scene, told WTIC-TV. “So, I didn’t do anything. I was in my kitchen until I heard one of my neighbors yelled to call the police.”
An extra-duty officer also heard the gunshots and ran toward the couple’s car, but Newton “turned it around quickly and raced away,” Dominguez said.
The suspect was later located and arrested on an unrelated active outstanding warrant for a first-degree assault charge, New Haven Police Capt. Anthony Duff said.
The couple’s little girl was unharmed during the incident.
“Domestic violence is something we're always aware of,” Dominguez said. “It's always something we need to be paying attention to … you don't know what is going to be a tipping point and what is going to escalate to something potentially this tragic happening.”
Newton faces charges of murder, risk of injury to a child and criminal possession of a firearm. He is being held on a $3 million bond.