State Police Describe Double-Murder ScenePosted: Updated:
State Trooper Joel Davis was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was fatally shot in the town of Theresa Sunday night.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, state police Superintendent George Beach II described what happened when the 36 year old Davis responded to a report of multiple shots fired at 34371 County Route 46, also known as River Road, where the suspect, 32 year old Justin Walters, and his 27 year old wife, Nichole Walters, lived.
Nichole Walters was also shot and killed. A photo from her Facebook page is at right.
Beach said Davis arrived around 8:30 p.m., parked 75 feet from the driveway and radioed that shots were being fired. He left his vehicle and was walking toward the driveway when he was shot.
Beach said the second trooper responding to the call was unable to find Davis, heard gunfire, and then saw Justin Walters standing in the driveway. The trooper drew his weapon and pointed it at Walters.
That's when he saw Davis' body in a ditch.
Other troopers arrived, tended to Davis, and took Walters into custody.
Nichole Walters' body was found in the driveway, She had been shot multiple times. Davis was shot once. He died around 9:30 p.m. after he was taken to Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown.
Beach said troopers believe the bullet passed through Davis' vest. "The vest itself has a ballistic plate in the front of it. We believe that this round entered to the side of that and fatally injured the trooper."
Also shot was Rebecca Finkle, who Beach said investigators believe was a friend of Nichole Walters.
Two of Finkle's children were also there, but were uninjured. Police described Finkle's injuries as non-life-threatening.
Beach said police "recovered a number of weapons at the scene" and aren't yet sure which of them might have been used in the shootings. Court papers say the same rifle was used to shoot both victims.
Beach said the suspect has not made any statements to police about what happened.
Beach said "this is a terrible loss to everyone in the north country. Everyone."
"I know especially in communities like this, people value and love the police," he said.