Police investigate deadly domestic dispute

By Laura Geller - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - One man is dead and a woman is fighting for her life tonight after a shooting in Chesterfield. Police tell us the suspect died after shooting his wife and then turning the gun on himself.  This is the third incident thought to involve domestic violence in less than a week.

These tragedies come at the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness month. Residents in the neighborhood where Sunday's shooting took place tell us they're shocked. In fact, they say they cannot recall one instance when police responded to the house before that tragic day.

Just three days before that Chesterfield police responded to another domestic related shooting on Timsberry Circle. This time a man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Then there was the incident we told you about where a woman died from head trauma inside a home on Hanes Avenue. While police are still investigating and haven't released many details just yet, it is believed to be domestic related.

"It doesn't surprise me. I wish that it did," said Angela Verdery,  deputy director of Safe Harbor, a local domestic violence aid organization.

She tells us the warning signs of domestic violence might not always be obvious.  Look out for whirlwind romances and loved ones who start to isolate themselves.

"They really start to sever all their ties with people that they know and that they love.  Isolation is one of the things that makes surviving violence more dangerous," Verdery said.

Those victims may reach out to friends or family before an abuse hotline, so the most important things you can do for them are to listen and never judge.

Safe Harbor, like many domestic violence agencies, has a hotline for victims.  If you don't know what to do when a loved one comes to you for help, those call centers offer free information for friends and family, as well. You can call 287-7877, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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