Florida man arrested for shooting girlfriend, roommate in domestic violence incident

BARTOW, Fla. (TCD) — A Florida man allegedly assaulted his girlfriend and a female roommate before shooting both of them Sunday morning, killing his girlfriend, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a domestic-violence call in unincorporated Bartow, about 45 miles east of Tampa, at 8:40 a.m. Sunday.

According to witnesses, 33-year-old Christopher Pequeen and his girlfriend had recently moved into an apartment with another male-female couple. The male roommate told detectives Pequeen and his girlfriend were arguing earlier Sunday morning, and the girlfriend came into the second couple’s bedroom and said she wanted to obtain a restraining order against Pequeen, saying “she was scared that Pequeen was going to kill her and that he had held his hand over her nose and mouth so that she could not breathe.”

The male roommate said Pequeen then came into the bedroom and pointed a gun at all three of them. The roommate said Pequeen struck the other woman in the face with a handgun, then shot his girlfriend multiple times, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The other woman tried to shield the girlfriend, and she was also shot by Pequeen, the roommate said.

The roommate said Pequeen then pointed the gun at him and took their cellphones. The two roommates ran to neighbor’s apartment and called 911. The female roommate and Pequeen’s girlfriend were hospitalized, where the girlfriend was pronounced dead. The female roommate was listed in stable condition Monday, according to deputies.

Sheriff’s deputies said Pequeen ran from the scene and tried to discard the cellphones and hide the gun. Deputies caught and arrested Pequeen. He was booked into the Polk County Jail on charges of first-degree murder; attempted murder; shooting into a building; tampering; aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; robbery; resisting arrest; and battery of a police dog.

The sheriff’s department said Pequeen’s criminal history includes 18 felony charges and 17 misdemeanors, including 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 and date rape.