Talking about divorce

James R. Phillips and his wife have been described as having an "ongoing domestic disagreement". One article says that Phillips was angry because he learned that his wife was talking to an attorney about filing for a divorce.

Tues. night, Phillips went to the local warehouse club where his wife worked. His wife's sister Linda Baggett was there to pick her up from work. Linda was in a car in front of the store and he confronted her and shot her in the head. She died at the scene.

He then went inside the store, and found his wife near the front of the store. She raised her hand to block a gun and he fired. She was taken to the hospital with injuries to her head, neck, and hand. She is expected to survive.  

Phillips left the store in a blue van, but was later picked up by police.

Phillips has been charged with first-degree murder, malicious wounding and two counts of using a gun during a felony.–bjsshooting0419apr19,0,6721722.story?coll=dp-headlines-virginia

The phrase "ongoing domestic disputes" makes me wonder if there wasn't some domestic violence history in this relationship. Though there isn't any mention of previous arrests. And the information that she was talking to an attorney about divorce- that is one of the more dangerous times in any relationship, but even more so when there is a history of domestic violence.

If there is a problem with the spouse, or if you are considering a divorce and the spouse shows up somewhere you are unexpectedly, esp. at your workplace- contact police. Maybe he just wanted to talk. But he might as well learn that he needs to let you know when you are going to meet. Sometimes showing up where you are unexpectedly can be construed as stalking. Repeated phone calls, showing up at your home also need to be reported. By making a police report, you let the spouse know that this won't be tolerated and you also have a record of the encounters.

If the relationship has had a history of domestic violence, you need to make a plan. There are domestic violence shelters, counselors and support groups who are helpful not only with support, but also with advice and resources. You may need to take a vacation at this time, or look for a different job. Yes, it is a sacrifice that you shouldn't have to make. But it may be necessary.

In this case, the wife didn't have a chance to call police. Likely, by the time she became aware that her husband was there, her sister had already been shot.

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