Man hunting for wife murders Culpeper neighbor giving her shelter

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CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. -- On Tuesday night in Culpeper, a husband chased and assaulted his estranged wife and murdered her neighbor while hunting for her.

The woman fled her residence in the 13000 block of Gray Street after getting into an argument and being threatened at gunpoint by her estranged husband, Willis N. Walker Jr., 49, according to Virginia State Police, who are now handling the investigation.

Walker followed her to the neighbor’s residence and forced his way inside at gunpoint. Once inside the residence, Walker shot and killed the neighbor, James Stewart, 74.

Walker then searched the Stewart’s house for his estranged wife, whom he found and violently assaulted.

A second woman, who was hiding inside the house at the time, called 911 and the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office responded to the residence.

"Upon arrival officers were confronted by a man wielding a firearm," a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office said. "He refused to comply with their repeated commands to put down his weapon. Instead, Walker began advancing towards the deputies threatening them with the shotgun, at which time one of the deputies fired at Walker."

Walker died at the scene. No deputies were injured in the incident.

Walker’s estranged wife was transported to the UVA Culpeper Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The 70-year-old female who called 911 was not injured in the incident.

Walker’s remains have been transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas for examination and autopsy.

At the request of Culpeper County Sheriff Scott H. Jenkins, the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Culpeper Field Office is investigating both fatal shootings. The investigations remain ongoing at this time.

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