Joel Smith reportedly killed his wife and their three children with a 12-gauge shotgun on Saturday night, and then took his own life in their Saco, Maine, apartment.
The bodies were not discovered until Sunday when a concerned family member asked the apartment complex to check on the family.
Smith’s mother, Jerys Thorpe, told the Portland Press Herald that her son had long-term depression, and recently learned that his wife was addicted to heroin and prescription medication.
“He was also a very private person. I said, ‘It doesn’t matter who knows, you need to go [to therapy],'" said Thorpe. “His mind was just gone, he had to be. He loved his children so much. He loved her so much. I think that’s what hurt him.”
According to neighbors, the family had a barbecue outside on Saturday before the gruesome deaths at 11:30 p.m.
Popular VideoThis young teenage singer was shocked when Keith Urban invited her on stage at his concert. A few moments later, he made her wildest dreams come true.
Neighbors heard some loud bangs on Saturday night, but thought the noises were fireworks.
The Associated Press noted that police said Smith's wife told a family friend a night before the shooting that her husband recently threatened suicide by holding a gun to his head.
According to a recent report by Mother Jones, "A woman's chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than fivefold if he has access to a gun."
The Huffington Post notes that the NRA has been fighting a proposed bill by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that would ban stalkers and people convicted of violence against dating partners from buying or owning guns.