DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Volusia County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting that happened near Daytona Beach Saturday afternoon, deputies said.
Deputies responded to the 1400 block of Old Kings Road around 1 p.m. about an incident they said began as a domestic dispute before escalating to gunfire. Officials said a man shot his girlfriend and then himself.
Witnesses told deputies that William Cox, 37, pistol-whipped his girlfriend, Candice Hall, 31. Deputies said a family dog then attacked Cox. Cox then shot and killed the dog before shooting Hall in the abdomen, deputies said.
The Sheriff's Office said Cox then fled the house and shot and killed himself.
A neighbor said she wasn't surprised to hear about the shooting Saturday on Old Kings Road.
"I could feel something bad was about to happen," Karen Collins said.
She said she felt as if it was only a matter of time before Cox would explode.
"He got worse each day when he got home this past week, and Saturday, I guess he couldn't take any more of it," Collins said.
Collins was outside when deputies said Cox shot the family's dog and then Hall. Authorities said Cox then fatally shot himself in the head.
"I'm still shaking up about it," Collins said. "I seen a lot of anger in him. All the time. A lot of yelling. Just real stern. He didn't seem real happy with himself."
Deputies said Hall and the children escaped by piling into an SUV to go to the hospital, but Collins said she couldn't make it on her own.
"She went unconscious and rolled off the road. We had to jump in and put the vehicle in park," she said.
Collins remembered what Hall said to her next, which shook her up the most.
"She told me, 'Please get away, you might get shot. But take my kids, he might start shooting at us.' You know, that's how scared she was," Collins said.
Hall didn't know Cox had already turned the gun on himself. The woman was rushed to the hospital for surgery. The children are staying with relatives.
"She's a good woman. A good mother. I'm glad she's still around," Collins said.
Hall was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center, where she was undergoing surgery and was in critical condition, deputies said.