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Police: Man kills estranged wife in Nash County, shoots self

Posted May 21, 2011
Updated May 22, 2011

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— A Stantonsburg man shot and killed his estranged wife at her friend's home in Nash County Saturday morning and then shot at two more people before finally turning the gun on himself, authorities said.

Whitakers Police Chief C.D. Wagstaff said that James Radford, 63, forced his way into a house at 116 Southwest Railroad St. and shot and killed Teresa Radford, 51, with a rifle.

James Radford shot the homeowner, Martha Worrell, 55, and tried to shoot Shelton Whitaker, a friend of the women who was in a car in the driveway, but missed, Wagstaff said.

James Radford then shot himself but survived. He was in critical condition at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville Sunday morning.

Worrell was shot in the arm and treated at Pitt Memorial. Whitaker suffered some injuries from shattered glass.

The couple was separated, and Teresa Radford had taken a restraining order out against her husband, Wagstaff said. She had been staying with Worrell for about six weeks, relatives and friends said.

"(She had) recently been very nervous and upset. You could tell her nerves were bothering her," Worrell's sister, Joyce Lewis, said.

Teresa Radford's niece said the world had lost a kind person.

"She was a wonderful lady," Billie Jo Arellano said. "She treated me just like I was her sister or her child, welcoming me into her home."

Once he is released from the hospital, police plan to charge Radford with first-degree murder, breaking and entering and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

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  • norainonmyparade May 23, 2011

    I don't know about in NC, but in other states I've lived in you have to list your address, your place of employment, etc so that the person you are getting an order of protection against knows where he can not go. A restraining order (or Order of Protection, as called in some states) is unfortunately just a piece of paper. It can be enforced, but only if you have a chance to call the police and they can get there before the guy kills you.

  • The7thSeal May 23, 2011

    "The irony of a restraining order is that the victim is forced to tell the abuser where she is, because the abuser has to know where not to go.-astonished
    "

    Really?interesting....

  • zile1porkey May 23, 2011

    When you get a restraining order get a gun permit and a gun and be licensed to carry a concel weapon. Restraining orders are filed but they don't restrain they only make the other party mader. As far going somewhere else where a shelter if a person wants to find you it doesn't matter arm yourself and shoot on site. It is better to kill him than have him kill you he will.

  • astonished May 23, 2011

    The irony of a restraining order is that the victim is forced to tell the abuser where she is, because the abuser has to know where not to go. Landshark, why should the victim lose everything - running away from their lives and their friends and family is another punishment they don't deserve.

  • concerncitizen May 23, 2011

    Everytime I read one of these stories, it just breaks my heart...
    @JAT I agree. Why women do not run for there lives, I will never understand. Going to family or friends homes only puts more people in danger. There are places women can go. The out come in these things is the same. The women is dead... It is sad!

  • JAT May 23, 2011

    I wonder how long the man had been "threatening" toward the woman. I bet if everyone was truthful, he'd been doing it since before they met, but back then, it was thought to be cute and "oh he loves me", "oh he wants to keep me for himself". Men don't just suddenly change from great husbands to worthy of a restraining order. And if you get a restraining order, don't let the man know where you are. This is a very sad situation which could probably have been prevented years ago.

  • ndadszucs May 23, 2011

    I agree, they are worthless; but at least there's documentation and when this happens... there's justice.

  • rightisright58 May 23, 2011

    Once again, a restraining order failed to protect a victim of domestic violence. They are worthless pieces of paper with good intentions.