Local News

Man Shoots Woman, Kills Self During Police Standoff

Posted March 22, 2006

— A Halifax County man is dead and his female companion is being treated for multiple gunshot wounds after a domestic dispute that turned into a three-hour police standoff.

Authorities were called to 509 Roanoke St. on Wednesday afternoon, where Joel Anderson lived with Patricia Sessom. Sessom's sister had heard the two arguing, got concerned and called police.

"By the time I got here, I knocked on the door and heard a loud noise," said Shirley Sessom said. "They were fighting. She was saying, 'Help me, Shirley, help me, Shirley.'"

Shirley Sessom, of Roanoke Rapids, said she had traveled to Scotland Neck to help her sister move from the residence.

Once authorities arrived at the scene, shots were fired within the house. Police attempted to negotiate.

"(Anderson) had told us he had shot the female in the house, and we kept pleading with him to get her out," said Scotland Neck Police Chief Doug Pilgreen. "He would not cooperate with us, so, we made entry, and he shot himself."

Patricia Sessom was being treated for multiple gunshot wounds at Pitt Memorial Hospital Wednesday evening, but the severity of her injuries was not immediately known.

Police said Anderson, 53, was a local handyman. Neighbors said he and Sessom had lived in the house for several years.

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