An ex-rugby player is being accused of a heinous crime after authorities said Rowan Baxter, his wife and their three young children were killed in a murder-suicide.
Baxter, a former member of Auckland’s New Zealand Warriors squad in Australia’s National Rugby League, is being accused of filling a gas can with fuel and dousing the family car containing his wife and children, and setting it alight, according to multiple Australian news reports.
Witnesses say they saw Baxter’s wife trying to escape the car while yelling, “He’s poured petrol on me.”
Baxter’s wife was transported to a nearby hospital, but eventually succumbed to her injuries and passed away. The children, who were aged 6, 4 and 3, were found dead inside the vehicle.
According to ABC News Australia, 42-year-old Baxter had self-inflicted stab wounds and got himself out of the car, but died at the scene.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, issued a statement about the situation saying, “My heart goes out to the families and community going through this tragic time and the emergency responders confronting what would be a shattering scene.”