A Fort Drum soldier has been charged with first and second-degree murder for the death of his wife and a New York state police trooper.
Officials say the 32-year-old Justin Walters, a decorated solider who had served twice in Afghanistan, allegedly killed the two outside his home in Theresa, a small town 10 minutes north of the military base.
New York State Police Superintendent George Beach says the loss of 36-year-old trooper Joel Davis tears at the state police and the local community. Davis had served the area for the past decade with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and later as a trooper.
"I know that especially in communities like this people value and love the police the state police and their sheriff's officers up here," Beach said at a press conference in Watertown Monday. "You can begin to see the signs of that now when you ride these roads. There are signs up paying tribute to trooper Davis."
North Country Assemblywoman Addie Jenne grew up with Davis. She says Davis and his brother, who works with the Watertown Police Department, are big parts of the local community and very respected.
"He was a wonderful man and this is a an extreme loss for our area," Jenne said. "He's going to be seriously missed by all of us."
Davis is survived by his wife and three children. He was shot and killed Sunday night after responding to a domestic abuse call. State police say Walters surrendered shortly after shooting Davis when other law enforcement arrived on the scene.
Beach said Walters has not yet made any statements regarding motivation. He's currently being held without bail.