The man believed to have killed his estranged wife along with seven others showed signs of murderous violence before he arrived to his former wife’s home, opening fire on a group of friends as they gathered to watch a football game.
Police also found a shocking arsenal of weapons in the suspect’s home after what is being described as the city’s deadliest shooting.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Spencer Hight, 32, shot and killed his estranged wife Meredith Hight, 27, along with Olivia Deffner, 24; Rion Morgan, 31; James Dunlop, 29; Myah Bass, 28; Caleb Edwards, 25; Anthony Cross, 33; and Darryl William Hawkins, 22.
Spencer was armed and reportedly still shooting when an officer first arrived to the scene. That officer shot and killed the suspect.
Meredith’s mother told CBS News that her daughter had filed for divorce after she and her husband had struggled to address a problem with alcohol. After the separation, Meredith reportedly told her mother that Spencer had been physically abusive on multiple occasions during their relationship.
Spencer’s father also said that his son struggled with alcohol abuse in an interview with the Dallas News. He said he hadn’t seen his son for a year before the murders, despite asking him to come visit.
Although the couple had a troubled history, the horrifying crime shocked friends, family, and the victim’s neighbors. Still, Spencer’s behavior alarmed people who saw him earlier that day so much that one of them called the police — but it was too late.
According to search warrant affidavits obtained by the Dallas News, employees the Local Public House, a bar just three blocks away from Meredith Hight’s home, became concerned after Spencer reportedly showed off a knife and a gun at the bar.
A concerned employee reportedly walked Spencer to his car so he could put the weapons away. While there, Spencer reportedly prevented him from looking in the trunk of his car, saying that he didn’t want him to see what was in there.
After Spencer left the bar, two employees reportedly followed him for a short distance in their car.
One of those people reportedly told police that she “observed the suspect with a pistol and a knife and stated that she was following him on Spring Creek Parkway to the home where the murders happened but drove away before the shooting started.”
A bar employee reportedly called 911 to report concerns about Spencer’s behavior, but by the time police arrived the suspect had already opened fire.
A woman who was reportedly in the backyard of the home reportedly told police that she heard Spencer and Meredith talking before the suspect shot and killed his ex-wife.
According to the affidavit, the witness “heard the victim Meredith Hight telling the suspect, ‘Did you really have to do this?’ then heard more gunshots and observed the suspect shoot at a Plano police officer after which she heard additional gunshots.”
The Dallas News reports that a subsequent search of the suspect’s apartment found a semi-automatic rifle and 2,300 rounds of ammunition. Police also found significant quantities of psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana along with drug paraphernalia.
Although authorities have little doubt that Spencer High was the sole perpetrator of the mass killing, they are continuing to investigate because of the severity and scope of the crime.
“They just want to make sure that enough time has elapsed that there’s nothing else that’s going to pop off that may be related to the situation,” attorney and legal expert Pete Schulte told Fox 4.
“This was a big deal. This is the worst crime the city of Plano has seen so they’re going to take their time.”
Feature photo: Instagram