PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — As felony charges move forward against one suspect, police continue to search for a woman who allegedly doused a mother with gasoline and robbed her at knifepoint before setting a home on fire.
Douglas Smith, 26, faces the following charges: attempted first-degree murder, arson, robbery, malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
The evidence against Smith will be presented to a grand jury on March 1.
Meanwhile, the Portsmouth Police Department says they are still looking for a second suspect in connection with the arson and robbery at a home on Lenora Avenue on Nov. 27, 2017.
Police say they are close to locating the 32-year-old female and have asked the media to not publish her name, which does appear in Smith’s charging documents.
Princess McBride says she was inside her home around 11 a.m. on that November morning when she heard a knock at her door. She looked out to see two people covered from head to toe. By the time she came out of her room, the two people forced their way inside. Court documents allege Smith pointed a gun at her and the female suspect was holding a gas can.
Smith ran off for a short time, according to the documents, while the female suspect poured gasoline on McBride’s sister as she slept in a bedroom toward the rear of the home.
Investigators say the female suspect then pulled a knife and robbed the woman before she “struck the lighter and lit a fire.”
“It could have been a worse situation. It could have been three funerals,” said McBride, who rushed her one-year-old daughter into another room. “I was scared for my life, my sister’s life [and] my child’s life. I didn’t know what was going on. It happened so quick that the only reaction was to get out.”
Before McBride escaped, she got into a struggle with the female suspect as the house was filling up quickly with smoke, according to investigators.
During the struggle, McBride says Smith returned with his gun and she let go of the female. Both suspects took off running.
“That was just messed up. It didn’t have to go that far. Whatever the problem was could have been resolved,” said McBride. “You didn’t have to set the whole house on fire and try to kill three people.”
McBride says the two suspects were her sister’s friends and they visited the home a few days before the incident. She says their motive is unclear.
No one was injured. The family of nine has found a new place to live.
McBride says the female suspect dropped her identification card inside her home. She hopes the information will help officers make an arrest.
“She’s dangerous. She needs to be off the streets before she hurts anybody else.”
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