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'Help me': Man rescues children from crash after mother shot, killed while driving

A man in California was arrested after shooting and killing a woman while she was driving with four kids in the vehicle, leading to a crash in a river, officials said.

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A man was arrested after shooting and killing a woman while she was driving with four kids in the vehicle, leading to a crash into the Sacramento River, a California sheriff's office said Tuesday.

Mandiko Kwadzo, 27, of West Sacramento, was arrested and booked in the Sacramento County Jail on murder charges, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office said.

Kwadzo and the woman he is accused of shooting were in a domestic relationship at the time. Kwadzo is father to three of the four children with the woman. It is unclear who the parents are for the fourth child.

The sheriff's office said a person called 911 after 9:30 p.m. Monday to report a vehicle drove off the roadway and partially into the Sacramento River.

"I heard some crashing and branches breaking, and whatnot," said Harrell Fischer, who was working on his boat Monday.

Fischer saw taillights heading into the river. He and another fisherman went to see what was going on.

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"We hopped in his boat and we started hearing screaming," Fischer said.

Fischer and the other man pulled up to the car and opened the passenger door.

"I saw a little face look up at me and I about melted," Fischer said. "It was intense. I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' And then I saw two little hands poke out, too, like, 'Help me.'"

Fischer said without thinking twice, he started pulling the children from the car.

"I grabbed another kid and put him in the boat," he said. "And another kid and put them in the boat and another kid was coming out. I was like, 'Oh my gosh, there are four kids in that car.'"

The oldest child told Fischer something he didn't expect to hear.

"He said, 'He shot my mom,'" Fischer said. "I said, 'What? What did you say?' And he said, 'He shot my mom.' This little 6-year-old says to me, 'You don't come back from a shot like that.'"

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The woman was not pulled out of the driver's seat until fire personnel and California Highway Patrol officers arrived.

"We couldn't find a pulse when we tried to lift her up," Fischer said. "She was just covered in blood."

Fire personnel spotted a gunshot wound to the woman's upper body while trying to perform live-saving measures on her, the sheriff's office said. Officials declared her dead at the scene.

Kwadzo was detained by officers at the scene and later arrested after homicide detectives determined he shot the woman while she was driving, the sheriff's office said. The vehicle veered into the river after she was shot.

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Sacramento County Sheriff's Office

What led to the shooting is unknown, the sheriff's office said.

"I don't even want anyone to ever see that or have to go through that," Fischer said.

Kwadzo and the four children were not injured in the incident, the officials said.

"I thank God for keeping those kids safe," Fischer said. "I thank God for keeping me and John safe. And I pray for that dude, too, who did all this. I pray for him, too."