Local News

Arrest warrant issued prior to Nash County shooting

Posted May 23, 2011 3:36 p.m. EDT
Updated May 24, 2011 8:51 a.m. EDT

— Two days before a deadly shooting in Nash County on Saturday, an arrest warrant had been issued for the alleged shooter, WRAL News learned Monday.

Police say James Henry Radford, 63, of 102 S. Whitley St. in Stantonsburg, forced his way into a house at 116 Southwest Railroad St. and shot and killed his estranged wife, Teresa Radford, 51, with a rifle.

James Radford also 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, authorities said.

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

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

Court records show that Teresa Radford filed a restraining order against her husband last Tuesday. In the application for the order, she wrote that her husband had threatened to "end it all" and told her, "If I wanted, I could have blown your head off with no remorse."

"Unfortunately, this situation turned out terrible," Nash County Sheriff Dick Jenkins said.

Jenkins said an arrest warrant was issued for James Radford on Thursday after he violated the restraining order.

Stantonsburg police in Wilson County say they waited for James Radford outside his home Friday night, but he never returned.

Teresa Radford had been staying with Worrell for about six weeks, relatives and friends said. They said the two women had been close friends for decades.

"They always helped each other out when they needed something," Worrell's son, Nicholas Batts, said Monday.

Batts said Worrell made Teresa Radford move into her home after finding out she felt unsafe around her husband.

Worrell's family questions why Radford was in possession of a gun since a restraining order had been filed against him.

Stantonsburg police said they confiscated Radford's guns following an argument in March, but they said they had to return them weeks later because no restraining order had been filed.

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