PHOENIX — A mother and her three children, all killed in Tempe Town Lake, will be remembered Sunday during a candlelight vigil to raise awareness about domestic violence.
Police said Glenn Edward Baxter, 27, deliberately drove an SUV carrying his family, including his 25-year-old wife Danika and three children, 1-year-old Zariyah, 2-year-old Nazyiah and 3-year-old Reighn, into Tempe Town Lake on Oct. 18.
The crash killed all five of the family members.
Domestic violence awareness groups will be out in full force at the vigil while community members mourn the loss of the Baxter family.
“The death of this family is just incredibly tragic,” Yvonne Taylor, Chief Programs Officer at Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence said.
Organizations attending the vigil hope to bring the community together to share its intolerance for domestic violence, and offer support to families affected by it.
There have been 11 domestic violence fatalities in Arizona during October. The state consistently ranks among the top 10 in the nation for abuse deaths.
“This is not just a family problem or a personal problem, this is a problem that our entire community needs to be aware of,” Taylor said. “What just is incredibly sad is this is domestic violence awareness month and during this month we have already had 11 fatalities and that is just way too many people to lose to domestic violence.”
The crash occurred during the late-night hours of Oct. 18. Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley said Danika and Glenn were separated and did not live together at the time of the crash, but had gotten together that night to “talk about the children.”
“We still don’t know what happened inside that vehicle, but what we do know is Mr. Baxter took deliberate action in driving his family into that lake,” he said during a recent press conference. “This was not an accident.”
The vigil will start at 5:30 pm at the Tempe Beach Park.
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