St. Louis Police search wooden area in Fenton for murder suspect

Police have been searching for 45-year-old James Kempf since the shooting on Thursday night.

Associated Press
January 27, 2020 - 2:13 pm
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FENTON, Mo. (AP) — Police in western St. Louis County are using a drone to search a wooded area as they seek a man suspected of shooting his estranged wife and killing his father-in-law when he tried to intervene.

John Colter, 66, was fatally shot in the head Thursday night at a home near Fenton, and Colter’s daughter was shot in the leg. Police have been searching for 45-year-old James Kempf since the shooting.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that authorities on Monday were searching a wooded area near the shooting site.

Kempf was charged in at-large warrants Friday with second-degree murder, assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

Colter’s daughter filed for divorce last year and obtained an order of protection against Kempf, alleging he had made physical and verbal threats during a custody exchange. The Kempfs have two children, ages 4 and 8.

Kempf’s wife was able to flee after being shot and called 911, police said. For hours, police thought Kempf was barricaded in the home. Tactical officers tried to contact him and get him to surrender peacefully. But when police got into the house and found Colter dead, they realized Kempf had already fled.