HEBRON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Police are still piecing together the details of what led former pastor Daniel Randall to break into his estranged wife's home in Hebron and kill his 27-year-old daughter, before turning the gun on himself.
Randall had spent the previous 90 days being treated for an alcohol addiction at a private recovery center, and aftercare, in Portland.
“That scares the bejesus out of me that someone I care about or love is going to end up a victim of gun violence, and it ought to have that effect on everybody,” said Portland attorney Bill Harwood, who also heads up the Maine Gun Safety Coalition.
For Harwood, Thursday's murder-suicide is personal. Harwood has a daughter at Wesleyan University — the same school from which Claire Randall graduated.
Last week, Claire Randall’s life ended. Police said her father broke into the family home and killed her with a shotgun they said he bought shortly after finishing a 90-day alcohol addiction rehab program at Liberty Bay Recovery Center in Portland.
The Program Director said Daniel Randall checked himself into recovery and was a model patient, never getting into trouble during his stay. They said he also gave them no indication there was any reason for concern.
Randall graduated from the program on Tuesday but stayed on for two days to take part in an aftercare program. He collected his belongings, his money, his cell phone and his car Thursday morning, the day of the murder-suicide.
While Maine State Police confirmed the weapon was a shotgun and said that Randall bought it on his way to his estranged wife’s Hebron home, many questions linger: Where did he buy the gun? Police also confirmed that Randall’s wife had served him with divorce papers — did he already own a gun before he was served divorce papers?
William Harwood said these are questions that need answering. “He had some very serious emotional, mental health issues as a result and we need to be able to identify those people quickly and make sure they do not have access to firearms."
Harwood argues that even if Randall bought the shotgun legally, leaders in Maine and in Washington need to address stemming the 30,000 gun violence deaths each year in the U.S.
For Claire Randall, that doesn't come soon enough.