Husband dies in police pursuit after shooting his wife

HOPKINTON, RI – A disturbing domestic homicide over the weekend concluded with the suspect’s death following a police pursuit, according to Hopkinton and Rhode Island State Police.

The incident began late Friday when local authorities discovered 44-year-old Stephanie Francis deceased from a gunshot wound at a residence on Subtown Road. The investigation quickly focused on her estranged husband, 45-year-old Joseph Francis, identifying him as the suspect.

As a result, a warrant was issued for his arrest, and law enforcement agencies were alerted to consider him armed and dangerous. The next morning, Westerly police spotted him driving on Route 1, initiating a pursuit that Joseph Francis successfully evaded.

However, his flight ended abruptly about 30 minutes later. State police reported he was driving on Route 2 in Charlestown when, during another attempted traffic stop, he sped away, eventually losing control of his vehicle. The car rolled over and crashed on Nooseneck Hill Road, where it was found overturned in the woods.

Joseph Francis was pronounced dead at the crash site, with subsequent investigations indicating he took his own life.

This series of events comes after Joseph Francis was previously arrested in late May, facing charges related to firearms and domestic violence. The investigation is ongoing, and no further details have been released at this time.