Police release identities in Chesterfield fire murder-suicide - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Police release identities in Chesterfield fire murder-suicide


A Chesterfield community wants to know what prompted a man to shoot his wife and then set their home on fire, before turning the gun on himself. The deadly discovery was made when fire crews were called to the home on Castle Glen Ct. about 11:30 Thursday night.

What would cause someone to do this? That's the question on everyone's mind in this neighborhood. People described Walter Hester as a kind man who cared about youth and even had a teenager of his own.

"Just kind of shocked. I would've never expected it," said Hunter Bogert.

He came to see the crime scene for himself.

"He was always so happy. Such a nice guy," Bogert said.

He says 50 year old Walter Hester coached his younger brother's basketball team. It's why the news is so troubling to understand.

"Every time I would say hi to him and shake his hand, he was always a bright smile on his face," Bogert said.

Something went terribly wrong Thursday night. Chesterfield Police say Hester shot his wife 46-year-old Clara Morgan-Hester, then set their home on fire before turning the gun on himself.

"Suddenly I look out the front window and there's a bazillion lights out front," said neighbor Mitch Wyss.

Neighbors noticed the frenzy but had no clue it was the result of suspected murder suicide.

"Not at all. They seemed like good neighbors," Wyss added.

"Everybody's kind to each other. There's never hardly ever any problems around here," said neighbor Laura Leyendecker.

Yet amid the tragedy are answers to calm the fears.

"This was not a random act that happened. There's a reason behind it. The first thought was did this happen random was more terrifying {but} there's a reason here. There's a story here," Wyss said.

All day friends and family showed up to the home but all too devastated to say a word.

Neighbors say the couple's teenage son is in the care of family tonight. Police say they have no record of domestic violence between the couple.

If you have any information that could help investigators get a better sense of why this may have happened, you're asked to call police at 748-1251.

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