Domestic Dispute Ends With Murder-Suicide

When Biloxi police arrived at the Royal Gulf Apartments, they found two bodies and three shotgun shells. The victim was identified as Francis Smith Jr., 36,of Gulfport. He had been shot twice.

The suspect was also dead. Police say Keith Weaver, 38, also of Gulfport was distraught over his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.

"It appears that the ex-boyfriend of the girlfriend came over and confronted her and her new boyfriend, shot her new boyfriend, then shot himself," Sgt. Alan Bond, a Biloxi Police Detective, said.

Bond says Weaver did not have any history of violence and that he just appeared to have snapped. As people at the Royal Gulf apartment complex learned, domestic disputes can happen anywhere, anytime and unfortunately, sometimes they have tragic endings.

"Domestic disputes are something that affect a large portion of our society in one form or another," said Harold Payne, the Gulfport Police chaplain. "It may not be physical, it may be emotional, but there is help."

Payne says counseling is readily available from private organizations and churches, but oftentimes people wait until the situation has gotten out of hand. And he says in the South, there is a significantly higher rate of domestic violence than in other parts of the country.

"On a national average, we have more and it's simply because of the heat," Payne said. "You know, it's irritating, we get in our cars, we're hot, they've been setting all day, we're going home, traffic is going slow."

Payne says there are no clear-cut answers to give victims' families about why something like this has happened. He says an event like this will definitely change lives, but it doesn't have to destroy them and he encourages family members to reach out for help.

Autopsies were performed on both men Saturday afternoon. Smith had gunshot wounds to his upper chest and shoulder. His death was ruled a homicide. Weaver had one gunshot wound to his chest. His death was ruled a suicide.