Lone gunman Joseph Eaton, 34, killed his parents and two of their friends before opening fire on a Maine highway a day after claiming in a Facebook Live video that he was “traumatized” after being “abused.”
Eaton has admitted to perpetrating the shootings and opening fire along Interstate 295, injuring three people, a spokesman for the Maine State Police said at a news conference.
In a chilling Facebook Live video posted a day before the massacre, the suspect referred to his mother, Cynthia Eaton Robinson. She turned 62.
The others have been named as his father, David Eaton, 66, and their friends Robert Eger, 72, and Patricia Eger, 62. The murders took place at the Eger’s home in the town of Bowdoin.
The three people injured while driving on the freeway are listed as Sean Halsey, 51, Justin Halsey, 29, and Paige Halsey, 25. Paige is listed as being in critical condition.
Eaton’s parents, David and Cynthia, pictured on her Facebook page in March 2021
Murdered couple Patricia ‘Patti’ Eger and Robert Eger pictured on her Facebook page in May 2020
The shooter will appear in court for the first time this week. He has been charged with four counts of first degree murder.
According to his mother’s Facebook page, she and her husband lived in Ocala, Florida, just north of Orlando. Posts on her page indicate that she and her husband are passionate supporters of ex-President Donald Trump.
In the chilling video posted Monday, Eaton asks people to “try to forgive him” and reveals he is suffering from trauma after being harassed.
“Getting molested and all that. It destroys someone. I know I am good to my children. I wish people would forgive me, you know, some people. I don’t get it,” Eaton said. He does not say from whom he asks forgiveness.
Eaton criticizes unnamed individuals for “claiming to be Christians” but unable to “forgive anyone or understand what they are going through.”
‘You can’t give someone a second chance, but you say you’re a Christian. How does that make sense? Why don’t you just try to take it easy, try to get to know the person. What good is it to hate someone? It destroys you,” he adds.
Joseph Eaton posted this photo on the day of his release from prison, accompanied by the caption: ‘Real food’
Bullet holes can be seen in the windshield of the silver sedan involved in the shooting
Eaton’s mugshot: He has a long criminal history in Maine, with charges such as assault and illegal possession of a firearm on this record
Eaton is facing four counts of murder, he has yet to face charges in the interstate shooting
Eaton is seen handcuffed in police custody. Shortly after this photo was taken, he was taken off the scene in a police car
“Life as a whole is suffering. You work long hours, you get sick, people you love die, and you’re guaranteed to have “bad days.” You die and lose everything you have earned all your life. There is more going on than meets the eye. Life is a trial for what is to come,” Eaton wrote in a Facebook post on April 16.
Eaton has been charged with more than half a dozen crimes over the past 10 years and was serving a sentence on April 14 for assault, according to state records.
Previous convictions included aggravated assault, a crime that would not legally make him possess a firearm.
The origin and ownership of the firearms used in Tuesday’s shootings were unclear. State police declined to comment on the weapon used.
Eaton has a criminal record in both Maine and Florida. His crimes include aggravated assault, domestic violence and assault against a law enforcement officer, the Portland Press Herald reports.
The accused was sentenced to three years in prison in the Sunshine State in 2018 for felony weapons and assault charges.
On Friday, Eaton wrote on Facebook: It’s finally over. There are so many people I can’t wait to see.’ A day later, he posted a photo of him having breakfast with the caption, “Real food!!!!”
After the shooting, Bowdinham resident Ian Halsey said some of the victims were his cousins. “My cousin is in critical condition and my other cousin is stable. There is no connection between the victims. It was random that my family got shot at,” Halsey said the Portland Press Herald.