The father of 3-month-old twins — a boy and a girl — was attempting to drown them in a bathtub Friday afternoon when a 12-year-old girl ran out of the Ada, Oklahoma, house and alerted a neighbor, police told KXII-TV.
Cash Freeman then broke into the house, saw the man holding the children in the bathtub and shot him twice with a revolver, police told KXII. The father — identified as 27-year-old Leland Foster — was killed, the station said.
Police said Foster, who lived about 130 miles away, arrived at the home where his estranged wife, Michelle Forrells, was staying with their twins, NBC News reported. Foster then pulled Forrells and their children into a bathroom and started trying to drown the children while holding Forrells at knifepoint, police told NBC News.
Police responded to the scene about 12:30 p.m. after reports of a woman heard screaming for help, KXII said.
The babies were taken to a local hospital and then flown to an Oklahoma City hospital, KXII reported. The station reported that they were doing fine and were released Saturday.
Freeman spoke to KFOR-TV off camera, telling the station he did what he had to do to save the babies — but added he’s concerned he could be in trouble. Police told KFOR that Freeman was questioned and released but will have to go before the district attorney, who will decide if his actions were justified.
One neighbor believes Freeman did the right thing.
Summer Pierce told KFOR “who knows what would have happened to the babies if he hadn’t intervened? They might not have made it.”
“It’s awful because I’ve held the babies,” Pierce told KFOR, “and, like, I’ve played with them, and I just gave them clothes yesterday.”
Foster was charged in 2011 with domestic abuse by strangulation and arson in the first degree, KFOR reported, adding that he pleaded no contest.
The 12-year-old girl who ran for help is also living at the house and was identified as the granddaughter of its permanent residents, NBC News said.