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Arsonist torches wrong apartment; man, son die

A man trying to set fire to his former girlfriend's apartment threw a firebomb through the wrong window, setting off a blaze that killed a man and his 3-year-old son, police said Wednesday.

David Walker, 34, of Atlanta was charged Tuesday with murder and arson in the Oct. 1 fire in Amherst, a Buffalo suburb.

Killed were Scott McDonald, 27, and his son, Derrek. McDonald's wife and his 4-month-old daughter were injured. The infant was tossed to safety out a second-floor window.

Walker had thrown a firebomb through the basement window of the McDonalds' apartment about 3 a.m., said police Capt. Thomas Gould.

The day before, Walker apparently had been stalking his former girlfriend, who lived in the apartment next to the McDonalds. As it turned out, she had moved out hours before the fire because her lease had expired, Gould said.

"She was the target," said Gould, who declined to release her name. A neighbor reported seeing Walker's car outside the building shortly before the fire and the day before, police said.

The day before the fire, Walker's ex-girlfriend told police that someone threw a brick through a rear window of her apartment. Police believe Walker did it, Gould said.

Investigators were not sure what prompted the attack.