An Orlando man was arrested after police said he shot and killed his 26-year-old girlfriend and then blamed it on her and his dogs.
Orlando police said the victim called police for help seven months before her death because she feared for her life.
Police said that in December, her boyfriend, Justin Pruitt, tried to commit suicide and the victim, Tiffany Linguanti, explained to officers that it had been a misunderstanding and that she had never actually seen Pruitt get a gun.
She told officers he was drunk and had taken Xanax.
But in text messages Linquanti sent a friend, she said that Pruitt had actually pulled the gun on her and had threatened to kill her.
On July 21, police were called to the couple’s Lake Nona home, where they said they found Linguanti shot in the head. She died at the hospital from her injuries eight days later.
When Pruitt spoke to investigators, he blamed one of his three dogs for the shooting and told police the dogs were “very smart.”
Pruitt told detectives he and his girlfriend had a good relationship and they had not fought in a few weeks.
Investigators checked Pruitt for injuries. Records show he had four scratches on his arm and stomach.
He blamed the scratches on his dog, but investigators pointed out that dog scratches are typically four side-by-side wounds, not one, and that the wounds were fresh.
Lilia Linquanti, the victim's mother, told Channel 9 that she was unaware of the domestic violence allegations.
"She never let me know what was going on behind closed doors," she said. "That's what hurts as a mother -- that you can't protect your child."
Linquanti said she wants her daughter to be remembered as a vibrant woman loved by many.
"She was such a lovable person, full of life," she said. "She looked like a warrior in front of me."
Pruitt is being held in jail without bond. He is scheduled to face a judge Wednesday.
Linquanti said she plans to attend each of Pruitt's court hearings.
"I was there for her last breath like I was there for her first breath. She died in my arms, right in my arms," she said. "This is a young lady that was going somewhere in life, and they just snuffed it away from her."