A Texas woman was fatally shot by her husband while filing a domestic violence complaint against him and as she held her baby, according to officials.
Takara Hightower, 34, was being interviewed by two Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents in connection to a domestic violence investigation she filed against her husband at their Humble home on the afternoon of Sept. 22, NCIS spokesperson Jeff Houston told NBC News.
Gregory Hightower, her 37-year-old Navy recruiter husband, was also in the home at the time.
At some point during the interview, the husband pulled out a pistol and fired shots, injuring one of the NCIS agents in the upper shoulder and lower abdomen, according to Harris County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Thomas M. Gilliland. The two agents returned fire, striking Gregory Hightower somewhere in the lower stomach.
Takara Hightower, who attempted to flee the home while carrying the couple’s baby, was also shot by her husband.
Police were not able to provide an exact age for the baby they say is about one year old, who was not hurt in the shooting. Neighbors who had witnessed the shooting ran towards the mother to assist her and the child. Another child the couple shared, who is about 3-years-old, was also in the home when the shooting took place, police said.
Gregory Hightower then jumped into his vehicle and fled the scene.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home on 3200 Tullich Run Drive in Humble, about 30 minutes northeast of Houston, at around 1:30p.m. Deputies pronounced Takara Hightower dead on the scene.
The injured NCIS agent was taken to a local hospital and has since been released, according to the agency.
Deputies found Gregory Hightower outside of his mother’s apartment complex about 40 minutes away from the home and exchanged gunfire with him. He was killed on the scene, police said.
The two children who were at the home during the shooting have been released to relatives of Takara Hightower.
This wasn’t the first time she had tried to report her husband for domestic abuse, according to police.
On July 16, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home over reports of a verbal and physical altercation between the couple.
“There were mutual claims that they hit each other and neither one of them were keen to be transported or to press charges,” Gilliland said, adding that the district attorney ordered one of them to leave the home for 24 hours as a result of the incident.
Just two days before the fatal shooting, Takara Hightower had called the sheriff’s office again to inquire about how she could file a restraining order. A deputy provided her with the necessary information, Gilliland said.
She was remembered by friends as “a fearless Lioness and protective mamma bear” in a verified GoFundMe account created to assist her family with funeral costs and support her children.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), visiting www.thehotline.org or texting LOVEIS to 22522.
Mirna Alsharif is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.
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