Ed Cunningham, spokesman for the Fort Pierce Police Department, said officials believe Philbert and his ex-girlfriend got into an argument when he showed up at her apartment on the morning of July 4, reports WPTV.
Police said that Philbert, originally from Haiti, had been living at a motel in Fort Pierce and worked at a grocery store in the area.
Carl Philbert, 31, had packed his vehicle with four propane tanks into his auto - one in the front seat and three in the back - before smashing into the building, Fort Piece police spokesman Ed Cunningham told reporters.
"He meant to do damage". "He raced his vehicle into this apartment where 5 people were, intending to kill them, blow the place up, or create some kind of havoc". Thirteen people were displaced by the crash and fire.More news: Get Ready: Someone Has Invented Snortable Chocolate
Investigators say he had been upset after he had a fight with a woman who lived there.
"I've never seen anything like that", said Kathy Toledo, a witness on scene. Toledo said the woman was engulfed in smoke when he reached her.
Narrating the video, Toledo is heard saying that an older woman had been in the room directly above the impact and that her husband Pablo carried the woman down the stairs to safety.
Pablo Toledo raced to save an elderly woman gripping the rail upstairs.More news: Essex mosquito pool tests positive for West Nile virus
"As soon as he came in through the window, I just jumped up and grabbed my son, ran out the back door with him". "It was harsh. reckless", said Chris Garcia, a neighbor. Shook the house, vibrated the couch, the walls.
He grabbed his wife and children. She started recording cellphone video after the crash and also recorded the explosion that occurred moments later.
"The fire, it just got to where we had to step back, and then a few seconds later, it blew up", Garcia said. They noted he had a history of domestic trouble with this particular woman, and they're using this case to encourage domestic violence victims to get help.More news: Kathy Griffin Reportedly Interviewed by Secret Service For Over an Hour
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