SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Investigators said Billie Hays shot his wife, Bonnie, before killing himself in an apparent murder suicide. Sheriff's deputies were called to their property in the Pine Springs community multiple times on Monday but said the motive for the shooting is still unclear. Family members said the couple never fought.
"We feel confident that the investigation shows that Mr. Hays shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself. We don't want the people in Pine Springs thinking there is a murderer running around out there," Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith said.
"Disbelief, disbelief. Cause I can't see him doing it. It's something brought him over the edge that he couldn't come back from," Larry Boyd said.
Boyd said his parents were married for more than 35 years. He said Billie was a deacon at his church, and Bonnie worked for an East Texas nursing home. Two of their sons and another couple lived on their property in the Pine Springs community.
"My mom would take any body in that needed help. She was a good woman. She was a stern woman, but she was a good woman...They had problems with grandchildren and kids and stuff like that, but between them, no, I never seen them argue," Boyd said.
The motive remains unclear, but investigators say these family problems may have prompted the shooting.
"We know there was a lot of trauma and drama going on with family members," Sheriff Smith said.
Sheriff Smith said his deputies were called to Hays's property three times Monday. They responded to an assault report an hour before the shooting happened, but officials and family members have not linked the pieces together.
"There is rumors going around, but you can't believe rumors until you get facts," Boyd said.