MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The suspect in Monday morning's fatal domestic violence case is being identified, and his past includes another murder.
Detectives say the suspect, 61-year-old William Hester, is in critical condition at Jackson Hospital after allegedly shooting his wife to death around 9am Monday. Hester was located a short short time later and critically injured in a shootout with police.
Montgomery police officers responded to the Capital Heights neighborhood to reports of someone being shot. After arriving at the home in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, officers located a woman, unidentified, who was suffering from gun shot wounds to the side. The woman was transferred to Jackson Hospital where she died shortly before 11:00am.
Major Huey Thornton with the Montgomery Police Department said officers made contact Hester in his blue Jeep SUV down the street from the shooting. The suspect then brandished a firearm and officers felt the need to defend themselves. Hester was shot at least twice in the leg and is listed in critical condition.
Hester's criminal record shows he was convicted of the murder of Patricia Ann Hester on January 23, 1987. The murder took place in Elmore County.
Brian Corbett with the Alabama Department of Corrections said Mr. Hester was released from prison on June 1, 2007 and that he was last housed at the Hamilton Community Work Center.
The Department of Public Safety is looking into Monday's shooting as a matter of procedure after an officer fired his weapon.
A police officer sustained minor injures, according to Thornton, from flying glass during the shootout.
"You just never imaging that you're going to walk outside and see crime scene tape and people shot," said Pennsylvania Avenue resident James Sims, who did not know the couple, but had seen them driving past on occasion.
Sims describes the area as "quiet" where neighbors look out for each other.
He said he was getting out of bed when he heard 5 or 6 gunshots and then silence. A few minutes later he heard the shots erupt again as authorities confronted the suspect.
Sims has lived on Pennsylvania for nearly ten years and says, "I feel safe in this neighborhood." He added, however, that in present times, violence can happen just about anywhere.
WSFA 12 News will have more information as it becomes available.