A man has been arrested after he allegedly shot dead two new parents but left their 10-month-old baby alive in the back seat.
Christopher Robson, a 44-year-old, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of murder on Aug. 28 after the shooting in Richmond County, North Carolina, reports WSOC.
He also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon in the presence of a minor and discharging a weapon into an occupied property. He is in jail without bond.
On the morning of Aug. 20, police received a call reporting a car accident. Inside that car, they found 26-year-old Joseph Cassidy and his wife, 23-year-old Katie, shot dead in the front seat.
It is unclear if they were shot and then the vehicle crashed or if something else happened. The car sustained no major damage but was off the road and positioned against a tree when officials arrived on scene.
Police estimated that the shooting happened less than an hour before authorities arrived, and the baby, Cole, was secured in his car seat and reportedly unharmed, though he was still transported to the hospital to be sure.
Family members are taking care of the infant.
"Cole wasn't physically harmed, but come graduation, he's not going to have his mom and dad," said Tiffany Freeman, a friend of the Cassidy family, according to WSOC. "Come prom, he's not going to have his mom and dad. So he was affected, even though not physically hurt, he was hurt. He's going to be hurt for the rest of his life."
Robson is Joseph's cousin and is scheduled to appear in court on September 7.
He has past felony convictions that include assault larceny (multiple convictions) and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, according to the Richmond County Daily Journal. Though his record bars him from possessing firearms, his son reported that he suspected his father of stealing one of his rifles.
Joseph's brother, Charlie, told deputies that Robson came to their house "strung out" a few times in the weeks leading up to the murder.
According to one of Robson's friends, the suspect last told him, "I'm done, I’ll see you in the next life."
Officers were instructed to keep a look out for him and spotted him on a motorcycle. A chase ensued, but he got away.
Freeman said the young family "didn't deserve" what happened to them "out of all people," and members of their community are still trying to make sense of the crime and figure out why they were killed, notes WSOC.