EDISTO ISLAND -- Three masked men carrying long guns kicked in a woman's door, and one of them snatched her 2-week-old baby out of her arms while another stood guard over her 9-year-old's room Tuesday night, authorities said.
"I thought I was going to die," April Washington said Wednesday. "I just didn't want them to hurt my kids."
The men showed up at 831 S.C. Highway 174 shortly before midnight. Washington said her husband and brother-in-law, who had been in the sunroom, ran out to find help.
She said one of the intruders came into the master bedroom and took 2-week-old Rayven from her, then tossed the infant onto a bed.
The man then marched Washington out of the bedroom to turn off the home alarm, keeping a gun pointed at the back of her head the entire time, Washington recalled.
As she walked out, she saw a large man "standing guard" in 9-year-old Amauri's room. Washington said the man walking her through the house demanded money, and threw her to the ground.
"He kept telling me, 'You know. Show me. Show me,' " Washington said.
The man jabbed the gun into the back of her head, she said, then took her into the backyard to her family's car. She said he wanted her to get into the car, but that she heard her 9-year-old daughter scream and begged the man not to hurt her children.
They returned to the house, and she told the man to take two boxes on the floor, which contained a DVD player and toys that she hadn't unpacked yet from their move to the house a few months earlier.
A sheriff's report said the men spilled Styrofoam in a trail through the yard as they left with the boxes.
Washington told deputies that the men fled in a dark sedan. She said someone had rummaged through her family's belongings during the home invasion, and she assumes that the third man searched for valuables while the one man held her hostage and the other stayed in her daughter's room.
Amauri told deputies that the man in her room squeezed her to make her scream but never hurt her, and baby Rayven didn't cry at all. Washington said her family will stay with relatives until they can move out of that house.