The friend said Albert Peterson, a defense contractor, had a history of paranoia and was affected by a favorite uncle’s recent suicide. On Wednesday, Peterson, his wife Kathleen (who also worked in a defense-related company) and their two teenage sons, Matthew and Christopher, were found shot dead in their home. Apparently he went on the killing spree a few hours after returning from church on Sunday.
Recently, according to the Daily Mail, Peterson was behaving erratically, sending paranoid political emails daily to family and friends. “They were very well-off people and they saved a lot of money,” Maggie L. said of the Petersons. “He couldn’t understand how the government could be so irresponsible and he thought it would be on the backs of his boys.”
The Washington Post reported earlier:
Randall Alter, a neighbor who said he has known the Petersons for about 28 years and attended their wedding and their sons’ baptisms, said Albert Peterson stopped by his house Saturday night. His friend, Alter said, seemed “morose.”
“He was worried about everything,” Alter said. “He felt the economy was going in the wrong direction. He was worried about politics. He couldn’t shake things.”