A Texas woman was in the midst of filing a domestic violence complaint against her husband when he fatally shot her as she held their baby, authorities say. Takara Hightower, 34, was being interviewed by two agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in the Humble home she shared with her husband, 37-year-old Navy recruiter Gregory Hightower, on Sept. 22, per NBC News. Suddenly, Gregory Hightower "returned home, ran to the front door, kicked in the door, and shot his wife multiple times," Harris County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jason Spencer tells American Military News. Takara Hightower, who was holding the couple’s 1-year-old in her arms, died at the scene.
The agents—one of whom was hit in the shoulder and abdomen—returned fire, striking Gregory Hightower in the stomach, Harris County Senior Sheriff’s Deputy Thomas Gilliland tells NBC. Gregory Hightower was able to flee in a vehicle regardless, officials say. Found outside his mother's Houston apartment complex a few hours later, he engaged in a second gunfight and was killed, officials say. The injured agent, initially hospitalized in stable condition, has since been released. The uninjured infant and a 3-year-old child who was also at the home at the time of the shooting are now in the custody of Takara Hightower's relatives, per NBC.
Gilliland says deputies responded to the home on July 16 following a "domestic prevention call for service for both parties claiming injury to each other," per the Navy Times. However, "neither one of them were keen to be transported or to press charges," Gilliland says, per NBC. He adds the couple was ordered to separate for 24 hours. Takara Hightower called the sheriff's office again on Sept. 20, asking about how she could seek a restraining order against her husband, according to Gilliland. Spencer notes NCIS agents "were standing by while [Takara] prepared to leave the home with her two youngest children." (Read more domestic violence stories.)