A man drove his vehicle into a couple and their six children in New York. Then he backed up and drove into them again.
Harmeet Kaur, CNN
(CNN) — A mother of six children was killed after a man allegedly drove his vehicle into her and her family outside a 7-Eleven convenience store about an hour north of New York City.
Jason Mendez plowed into Melissa and Sean Deloatch and their six children after a heated argument between Mendez and Sean Deloatch, according to a statement from the Haverstraw Police Department.
Then he backed up and drove into the family again, police said.
“The vehicle struck with such force it continued into the building, heavily damaging the front of the building,” the police statement read. “The driver then backed up the vehicle and drove forward a second time striking Deloatch and his family.”
All of the family members were wounded and transported to a hospital. Melissa Deloatch, the 32-year-old mother, eventually died of her injuries. The father, Sean Deloatch, and three of the couple’s children were later transferred to another hospital where they were treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries.
“This is a tragedy,” Captain Martin Lund told CNN affiliate WLNY on Wednesday. “It doesn’t happen very frequently, if at all, in our community. But it’s a tragedy that happened today.”
Police said that when officers first responded to the scene, Mendez brandished a knife at them as he exited his vehicle.
“The officers asked him to put the knife down, he refused to do so, and the officer Tased him and took him down to the ground, and then we took him into custody,” Lund said.
Mendez has been arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder, among other counts. Police said he was arraigned on Wednesday and placed in the custody of the Rockland County Correctional Center.
Attempts to reach an attorney for Mendez were unsuccessful.