CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. - A family is mourning the death of a 16-year-old girl who died in a fiery crash with her fiancé on Thanksgiving.
The Georgia State Patrol confirmed two people died in a single-car crash along Rainey Road just west of Taylors Gin Road in Temple on Thursday night.
Elijah Cox, 20, of Villa Rica, was driving on Rainey Road about 8:40 p.m. Thursday with his girlfriend, Raina Reed, in the passenger seat. Cox’s Volvo sedan crossed into the opposite lane on a curve, then struck a tree and caught fire, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Georgia State Patrol said a handgun and rifle were found in the charred remains of the vehicle. “Any actions prior to the crash, involving a gun, are being investigated by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office,” GSP said.
Reed's aunt spoke to Channel 2’s Nicole Carr in an exclusive interview after the crash.
She says the couple were newly engaged, though they had a tumultuous relationship.
Carroll Co Sheriff's Office says young couple(16 yo girl, 20 yo man) that died in fiery crash had moved in together about a week ago @wsbtv— Nicole Carr (@NicoleCarrWSB) November 25, 2016
Reed’s aunt said she separated her 16-year-old from the girl's drunk, 20-year-old boyfriend on Thanksgiving and took Reed back to her parents' Temple home for safety.
"He said nobody could stop him," the aunt said.
She said that was when Cox went to the house, armed with a rifle and handguns, firing at a neighbor, who is a law enforcement official.
“He shot before he came in the house, three times,” the aunt said.
As investigators looked for shell casings on Friday afternoon, Reed's aunt agreed to detail the horrific Thanksgiving Day as long as she was not identified or shown on television. She said she, her 16-year-old niece and five other family members huddled inside a bathroom to escape Cox.
She says they were all held at gunpoint.
"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, and he grabbed her, and she was telling him to stop that she didn't want to go," her aunt said.
Police confirmed that the teen was taken from the home at gunpoint.
Carroll County sheriff’s investigators said they recognized Cox's speeding car a short distance from Reed's home. A witness described the moments before the crash.
"He turned the lights off and the next thing I hear is a 'boom!'" Antonio Streeter said. "And next thing I know, the car's in flames.
"The deputy was in a bad situation with an armed suspect inside the vehicle and the vehicle actually being on fire," Sheriff's Deputy Brad Robinson said.
Reed’s aunt believed the girl agreed to leave with her violent boyfriend to keep him from killing the rest of the family.
"She's our hero. She saved our life," her aunt said.
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