A U.S. Army soldier was accused of shooting and killing his wife along with a New York state trooper after a domestic dispute Sunday night, authorities said.
Army Staff Sgt. Justin Walters, 32, was billed about 4 a.m. Monday with first-degree murder for killing the trooper, Joel Davis, and second-degree murder for killing his wife, Nichole Walters. The Afghanistan battle veteran surrendered to authorities without incident.
Davis, 36, responded to a call of shots fired at a House in Theresa, near the Canadian border, roughly 8 pm Sunday, New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said. Davis was outside the home and getting out of his cruiser when he was taken once. Another trooper responding to the shooting discovered Davis in a roadside ditch.
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Davis was taken to the hospital but died an hour later.
Nichole Walters, 27, was found dead inside the home. A friend of the mother told The Associated Press he was shocked about the deadly shooting. Jerry Mikels said he didn’t believe Justin Walters was capable of murdering his wife, who was a stay-at-home mom caring for their toddler son. The couple met when she was completing high school and he was heading into business school, based on Mikels.
Another woman, who lived in a shed on the property, was also taken and suffered non-life threatening injuries, WWNY reported.
Walters is an active duty U.S. Army infantryman who is stationed at nearby Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division, authorities said. He has served since joining the Army in 2007. Walters was deployed to Afghanistan for two tours with the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade in January 2009 and March 2011.
Davis, of Evans Mills, graduated in the Basic School of the New York State Police Academy in 2013, based on WWNY. He initially was assigned to the Troop D Watertown barracks before getting his current assignment at the state police barracks in Philadelphia, just outside Fort Drum.
Davis is survived by his wife and three children.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Monday morning that “the entire New York family grieves” for Davis.
“Trooper Davis served as a member of the New York State Police for four years and his passing is still another sad reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face each day in order to protect our communities and serve the residents of this fantastic state,” Cuomo said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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