New Details in Watauga Homicide That Led to Shootout With Police

NBC 5 has learned new details about a tragic situation in Watauga Monday that left one woman dead and led to her suspected killer being shot and killed by police.

It appears to be a case of domestic violence, and there were clear warning signs leading up to Monday.

The victim's daughter called 911 Monday to report a man named James Freeman was in her mother's house. Freeman shouldn't have been there because there was a protective order against him.

When police responded, they said Freeman pulled a gun on them. They shot and killed him, then found the body of 49-year-old Emily Law inside.

NBC 5 learned Tuesday that Freeman was arrested for attacking and choking Law last week, triggering that emergency protective order.

Watauga's police chief said the department's crime victim liaison worked with the victim in between the two incidents.

It appeared she did everything she could to protect herself. The question now, could anything have changed this outcome?

NBC 5 posed that question to a domestic violence victim's advocate.

"The most important thing that a victim of domestic violence could do is walk into an advocacy-based center, like One Safe Place and get help," said Michelle Morgan, vice president of One Safe Place. "It can absolutely change the landscape of their next step and of their journey from victim to survivor."

Agencies like One Safe Place help victims develop a safety plan to protect themselves at home, or find a way out.

Freeman had an extensive history of domestic violence, including violating a protective order for his ex-wife three times.

NBC 5 spoke with her by phone. She was shaken and expressed her condolences to the victim's family. She said this could have easily been her.

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