FENTON, Mo. (KTVI) -- Authorities are continuing a manhunt for a Fenton man accused of shooting his estranged wife and killing his father-in-law.
St. Louis County police were called to a home on Charity Court just before 6 p.m. Thursday. When police arrived, they found a woman outside with a gunshot wound to the leg. She told police her husband, James Kempf, shot her but she was able to escape to a neighbor’s house.
According to police, the victim told police her father, who lived nearby, was still in the house with Kempf. The police tactical team responded and a standoff ensued for more than four hours – until police finally made entry into the house and found the body of 66-year-old John Colter, the woman's father.
“There was some type of altercation. Her father tried to intervene when she was shot in the leg. We suspect that’s how he was shot; trying to intervene on the victim’s behalf,” police said. “At this point, we still don’t have the suspect in custody and we’re looking for him actively and want to get him in custody as quickly as possible.”
Fox 2 confirmed through court records that Kempf's wife filed for divorce last September and that she was granted a full order of protection against him. She wrote in the order that throughout their marriage Kempf threatened and verbally abused her and was violent on several occasions. Kempf was ordered to not come within 500 feet of her.
Police described Kempf, 45, as a white man, standing about 5’9” tall and weighing 200 pounds.
Prosecutors have charged Kempf with second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and armed criminal action.
Anyone with information on Kempf's whereabouts is encouraged to contact their nearest law enforcement agency immediately. You can also file an anonymous tip by calling CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.