Photo by THE ASSOCATED PRESS Kelsey Moss, who knew three of the victims, places flowers at a makeshift memorial site with her father, Hal Moss, of Plano, Tex., before saying a prayer for the eight victims in a shooting on West Spring Creek Parkway in Plano on Tuesday. Plano police have identified 32-year-old Spencer James Hight as the gunman who killed eight people at a Plano home Sunday night.

Man who killed estranged wife, 7 others had drinking problem

PLANO, Texas — Meredith Hight had gathered friends at her suburban Dallas home for a day of grilling and watching football when her estranged husband showed up and opened fire, killing her and seven others before a police officer killed him.

Plano police have said that an officer responding to calls about shots fired Sunday evening saw bodies in the backyard and heard shots. The officer went inside, confronted 32-year-old Spencer Hight and fatally shot him. Police say he shot nine people in the home and that seven died there. One of the two wounded victims died at a hospital.

Among those killed was 31-year-old Rion Morgan, who was a groomsman in the couple’s wedding, The Dallas Morning News reported . Also killed were Anthony “Tony” Cross, 33; Olivia Deffner, 24; James Dunlop, 29; Darryl Hawkins, 22; Myah Bass, 28; and Caleb Edwards, 25.

Meredith Hight, who was 27, filed for divorce in July after six years of marriage. The divorce hadn’t been finalized yet. Her mother, Debbie Lane, said her daughter’s gathering on Sunday was the first party she was hosting on her own.

Records show the couple got married in Collin County in September 2011. They exchanged ceremonial vows during a Caribbean cruise the following year.

Lane said Spencer Hight started out as a loving husband to her daughter, but she and her husband noticed something was off with their son-in-law. When they visited the couple, he would retreat to his room and his computer. She said they later learned he had a drinking problem.

Spencer Hight lost his job doing contract work for Texas Instruments around the time that he and her daughter bought the Plano house in 2015, Lane said. She said her daughter, who worked for Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages in Fort Worth, was shouldering the mortgage by herself.

Lane said it wasn’t until Meredith filed for divorce that she told her parents that Spencer had been violent at least twice, including a time last fall when he slammed her face against a wall. But she said her daughter hadn’t reported the incidents to police.

When Meredith filed for the divorce, she didn’t request a restraining order against Spencer. She wasn’t afraid of him, her mother said.

Spencer Hight’s father, Chester Hight, told the newspaper Wednesday that that the family is living a “nightmare.” He said his son called to tell him that he and Meredith were splitting, but he couldn’t speculate about their relationship. “They didn’t confide in me, let’s put it that way,” he said.

“And Meredith, I really liked Meredith, for what it’s worth,” he said. “We all had a very good relationship with Meredith.”

Chester Hight said his family is grieving over the deaths of the others who were killed at the party. “I’m so sorry. We knew some of those kids,” he said.

On good days, the elder Hight said, Spencer was creative and clever. But he said his son also struggled with drinking.

Just Posted

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

Castor murderer denies he’s a killer

Jason Klaus tells courtroom he loved his family who were murdered in December 2013

Advocate poll shows another hospital wanted in Red Deer

Over 50 per cent of voters support second hospital

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month