TWO dead in shooting at church service

Sunday, May 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A man armed with a stolen gun walked into a church during an evening service and killed his estranged wife and another woman before fleeing with his 2-year-old son, police said.

Fredrick Radford, 35, was arrested after a standoff with an officer and charged with two counts of murder. The boy was unhurt.

Adrianne Radford pleaded for her life before she was shot Friday night during the revival at The Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, the wife of the church's pastor said.

``She begged him not to shoot her,'' Darnette Leavell said. ``She started scooting away from him and said 'OK, Freddy. OK, Freddy. Please, Freddy. Please, Freddy. Oh, Jesus.' And he got closer and gave her the final shot.''

Radford also killed a woman who tried to take the couple's son from him, police said.

Police Cpl. Mike Wood said Radford fled the church with the child and surrendered after a 15-minute standoff.

Adrianne Radford, 25, of Hopkinsville, died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. Mary Anne Turner, 47, also of Hopkinsville, was pronounced dead at Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville.

The mother had filed a domestic violence order against her husband and moved out of their home with their son, Fredrick Jr., about two months ago, according to a friend, Latrice Banks.

On Friday, Radford followed his wife into the church, witnesses said.

``He was acting like he was kind of nervous,'' said Felicia Elder-Oldham, a church member. ``I saw the gun when he was walking through the church.''

The Radfords sat in the front row and he appeared agitated while whispering in her ear, Leavell said.

After the shootings, the man turned toward the congregation with his son on his hip.

``He started waving the gun and he was trying to shoot it but it would not go off,'' Leavell said. ``I just feel like God shut down that gun.''

Wood said Radford drove off but was met by Police Chief Kenny Over.

``Chief Over managed to calm him down and talk him into surrendering. The chief kept his cool and did his job,'' Wood said Saturday, adding that the boy was placed with a relative.

Besides the murder counts, Radford was charged with several counts of wanton endangerment, fleeing and evading, violation of a domestic violence order and possession of a stolen firearm. Arraignment was set for Monday.

The 9 mm semiautomatic handgun was listed as stolen by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Wood said.

Banks said Radford called his wife Thursday night and threatened her. She said the wife refused to call police, thinking her husband was only trying to scare her.

She had planned to file for divorce on Tuesday, Banks said.