Authorities aren't sure what led to the fatal shooting of a Cartersville mother of two and the subsequent suicide of her husband, the gunman, and can't say whether the two had a history of domestic violence.
But Angela Desarae Player, 37, and Robert Wade Brazell, 42, who had been married nearly 16 years, had not been involved in any prior domestic violence incidents that led to an arrest, according to Bartow County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Jonathan Rogers and divorce documents filed in Superior Court, which are available to the public.
Player filed for divorce in October on grounds the marriage was irretrievably broken, and didn't seek any type of protection from any alleged family violence, according to the Domestic Relations Case Filing Information Form. Brazell, who didn't contest the divorce, agreed Player should have sole custody of their children, then ages 14 and 16.
The divorce was final in January, according to Rogers, when the couple, previous residents of Cannon Circle in Cartersville, had been separated a couple months shy of a year.
Described as a loving and devoted mother, Player died Feb. 21 as she worked as a night audit clerk at Bartow's Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville.
"Our hearts are broken that you are gone," said the Verhine family in Parnick Jennings Funeral Home's online book of condolences. "You were a caring, WONDERFUL friend that always had a smile on your face and a kind word to say.
"I will forever cherish the friendship we shared and promise to do all that I can to make sure your memory lives on."
Others expressed condolences to the family touched by such tragedy, which includes Player's parents and sister.
"I do not know Angela personally, but her story touched my heart," said Kindred Spirit. "I have been in a similar situation and know first hand the pain it brings. Prayers for peace going up for her family and children. May you rest in peace, Angela."
Rogers said Brazell fatally shot his ex-wife at the registration office and although an armed security officer was in the building, he was not present during the shooting.
Drugs could have been a contributing factor, but authorities won't know until they receive medical test results.
"We don’t know if he was upset about the divorce or not," Rogers said. "If he was, why did he wait until a month after?"
But Brazell may have been one of the two types of people that should alert mental health professionals to the risk of possible murder-suicide, which include "a middle-aged man who is recently separated or facing pending estrangement from his intimate partner and who is depressed and has access to firearms," according to Dr. Scott Eliason, who conducted a study about murder-suicide published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
A person who wants to commit suicide because he thinks someone has stopped loving him may also target the person perceived to be withholding her affection, said Dr. Frank Campbell, the executive director of the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center in Louisiana, according to CNN.
"A person who is miserable about the loss of affection in their life achieves compatibility again with this person by execution," Campbell said. "When one commits murder-suicide, they create acceptable consequences to them—they are now with that person in a way they can control."
Several hours after fatally shooting his ex-wife at the resort and fleeing on foot into nearby woods, Brazell turned the gun on himself as authorities searched the area for Player's shooter, Rogers said.
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