An Arkansas man allegedly fatally shot a police lieutenant before forcing his ex-girlfriend to witness the killing of her mother and teenage daughter, PEOPLE confirms.
A statement from Arkansas State Police alleges that James Bowden, 42, shot 46-year-old Yell County Deputy Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart during a traffic stop Thursday morning in Dardanelle.
The statement alleges Mainhart was responding to a domestic disturbance call when he noticed a vehicle “believed to be associated” with the alleged dispute. Police say he was fatally shot soon after exiting his patrol car.
Then, as additional officers arrived at the home Bowden’s ex-girlfriend shared with her mother and daughter, they found the bodies of 61-year-old Rita Miller and her granddaughter, 17-year-old Ciara Miller.
Inside the house, Bowden was allegedly holding his ex, Haley McHam, hostage, the statement alleges. A five-hour standoff with officers ensued. Eventually, McHam was able to flee the home after Bowden allegedly took several pain pills and entered the attached garage in search of food.
PEOPLE was unable to reach McHam, who spoke about her ordeal to TVH 11.
“He took my baby,” she said tearfully. “He took my mommy.”
“He shot my mother four times and then my daughter once in the chest and he came in and told me it was my fault,” McHam added. “He said if I had come home they would still be alive and that I was going to have to live with it.”
She said she had been in a relationship with Bowden but had broken it off, and that Bowden was enraged.
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She told the station that at times, she thought she would be killed: “I told him anything I could. I told him everything he wanted to hear, I told him I loved him and would come and see him. I told him anything that might work.”
McHam also urged victims of domestic violence to stand up for themselves.
“I want every woman that stays in these abusive relationships to get out today, right now,” she said. “You never expect this to happen. I never expected this to happen. I never thought he would’ve came and killed my baby and my mother. There’s been times I was scared he was going to kill me, I thought he would only kill me but he didn’t. He took bigger pieces, he took my family.”
Bowden is charged with three counts of capital murder. He has not entered pleas to the charges against him and it was unclear Tuesday if he had retained legal counsel who could comment on his behalf.
A GoFundMe campaign has been established to assist McHam through her recovery.