A 16-year-old girl was abducted at gunpoint by her estranged fiance and killed when he drove his getaway car into a tree and it burst into flames.
Raina Reed had been living with 20-year-old Elijah Cox at his mother's home in the city of Villa Rica, Georgia, when her family showed up. He was allegedly drunk so they decided to take her home to the city of Temple, l1km away, Carroll County Sheriff's chief deputy Brad Robinson told WXIA.
He allegedly said that "nobody could stop me", said Raina's aunt, who did not wish to be named.
Cox then turned up at Raina's family home, bearing a shotgun and handguns. He fired at least one shot before entering the house and Raina and her five family members decided to go to the bathroom, lock the door and try to hide.
"He came in yelling for Raina, and kicked in the bathroom door and she jumped up as brave as she is and slapped him in the face and told him to stop," her aunt told WSB-TV.
"He grabbed her, and she was telling him to stop, that she didn't want to go."
Her family called for the police and as a police vehicle approached the home, they passed a car speeding off in the opposite direction. The police officers turned their vehicle around, gave chase and realised that the vehicle, a Volvo sedan, belonged to Cox.
A witness Antonio Streeter told WSB-TV that "he turned the lights off and the next thing I hear is a boom". Cox's sedan had crossed into the opposite lane on a curve, struck a tree and exploded into flames. Reed and Cox were killed instantly. Georgia State Patrol said a handgun and rifle were found among the charred remains of the vehicle.
Raina's aunt said she believed her niece went with Cox with the hope of saving her family.
"She's our hero," she said. "She saved our lives."