Family In Fear After Father Shot And House Burned

Thursday, March 13th 2008, 6:57 pm
By: News On 6

A family is living under a death threat after a husband and father was shot and their house was set on fire.  The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports one man has been arrested, but others haven't been found.

The house was boarded up on Thursday afternoon to keep people out, but there's nothing left to steal.  The family who lived here is dealing with the fire and with a husband and father who was shot.  The trouble started with an argument over $100.

You can forgive Melissa Hindman for not being able to think clearly.  She's worn out tired.

"My husband got shot and then not two weeks later somebody comes and burns my house down," said Melissa Hindman.

And, it's even worse than it sounds.  The family lost everything they had in the fire, while they were at the hospital.  The one thing they saved is a picture of Robert Hindman before he was shot in the neck and left paralyzed.

"I heard the gunshot go off and he's laying on the floor telling me he can't breathe.  He can't feel his legs," said Melissa Hindman.

And that's not all.  Detectives believe the shooting and the fire are connected.  And, while the shooting might have been a spur of the moment decision, the arson was not.

Fire investigators say gasoline had been poured throughout the house, so it was clearly arson.  Now they need to know why it was burned and answering that question may lead them to who was responsible.

The man accused of the shooting, Ralph Taitingfong, was already in jail when the house was burned.  Melissa Hindman says Robert was shot after Taitingfong, her husband's former employer, came over demanding money.

"It escalated to the point that my 14-year-old girl came around the corner and said don't talk to my father like that and he pointed a gun at my daughter's head," said Melissa Hindman.

Now Hindman is left to care for her husband, who still might not survive, while protecting her children, and trying to replace their belongings, with no insurance to boot.

An account has been set up for the Hindman family at Arvest Bank.

They are in a safe place, staying away from their home until police and arson investigators sort all this out. 

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