Local News

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

Posted May 21, 2011 10:30 a.m. EDT
Updated May 22, 2011 4:16 p.m. EDT

— 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.