TWO dead in shooting at church service

Saturday, May 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ A man armed with a stolen gun walked into a church during a Friday night service and killed his estranged wife and another woman before fleeing with his young son, police said.

Fredrick Radford, 35, was arrested after a standoff with an officer and the boy was unhurt.

He was being held Saturday on two counts of murder, several counts of wanton endangerment, fleeing and evading, violation of a domestic violence order and possession of a stolen firearm.

Radford shot his wife first and then killed a woman who tried to take the couple's 2-year-old son away from him, police and witnesses said.

``Everybody hit the floor as soon as we heard the gunshots,'' said Derek Mack, the pianist for the service.

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

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

Wood didn't know the couple's history but said a domestic violence order was in effect.

``She was wanting to move away from town,'' and may have told her husband she was leaving, Wood said.

The shooting happened during a revival service at Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church.

A witness, Lola Reeves, told the Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville that Radford entered during ``altar call,'' a ceremony in which parishioners go to the front of the church for confessionals and forgiveness.

``He walked in and went to talk to her (Adrianne Radford). She tried to get away to make a phone call and to get her baby, and he sat her down in the front bench and shot her,'' Reeves said.

Turner ``tried to get the child from him, and he shot her too,'' Reeves said. ``Then he pointed the gun at himself and pulled the trigger. It must have jammed because it didn't go off, so then he waved it around and walked out with the baby.''

Wood said Radford then 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,'' he said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was placed with a relative, Wood said Saturday.

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