Joel Smith a 33 year old Maine husband and father this weekend killed his three children, his wife and then himself, presumably as a result of experiencing financial duress, told cops.
The murder suicide is said to have taken place inside the family apartment about 11.30pm on Saturday where cops told Joel Smith came to use a 12-gauge shotgun.
Killed were 12 year old Jason Montez and 7 year old Noah were shot to death in their separate bedrooms. 35 year-old Heather Smith and 4 year old Lily Smith were shot in the parents’ bed.
Joel Smith’s body was found on the floor nearby, the gun by his side. The children would come to be shot while they slept cops would reiterate.
Jason was Joel Smith’s stepson and the other two are his biological children with Mrs Smith.
Cops would further tell that no suicide note was found, but investigators said the wife had told a family friend the night of the shooting that Joel Smith recently had threatened suicide.
According to the Boston Herald, police said Smith put a gun to his head days before killing his family. Neither the 33-year-old or his wife sought help but she told a friend what he had done.
Saco police Sgt. Chris Harriman also told that the family spent time with friends at a barbecue earlier on Saturday.
The friend later contacted an apartment complex worker to express concerns about the family’s well-being, leading to the grim discovery.
Investigating officer, Sgt. Christopher Harriman would caution that the family had domestic issues and financial problems. However Harriman would also tell that there was no history of domestic violence between the couple.
The family had moved from Arizona two years ago because of the sour economy, said Joel Smith’s mother, Jerys Caruthers-Thorpe, of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Heather Smith, a medical assistant, also was getting help for heroin and Oxycontin addiction told the shooter’s mother.
‘I know something had to have snapped because Joel never would have done that in his right mind,’ she said.
The Portland Press Herald reported that neighbors heard a sound ‘like firecrackers’ on Saturday night while one resident said he saw Joel Smith leaving the apartment on Sunday morning before returning.
Neighbors described the father as well known in the apartment complex along the Saco River because he worked for a company that provided maintenance services. They said he was friendly and outgoing.
Smith, who was a carpenter and builder, decided to follow his father to Maine in hopes of escaping the tough economy out West, Caruthers-Thorpe said.
Only recently, she said, her son had realized his wife was suffering from addiction, and they’d talked about moving back to Phoenix.