SAUGUS, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Authorities have identified the two victims of a murder-suicide that started at a gas station in Saugus.
According to the Essex District Attorney's Office, the man fatally shot at the Mobil Station was 63-year-old Frank A. Trombetta.
The suspect found dead inside a car in a cemetery in Everett was his 63-year-old brother-in-law, William McFeely.
Officers initially responded to reports of shots fired at the Mobil gas station on Essex Street at just after 12 p.m. on Friday, where they found Trombetta suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
McFeely fled the scene in a white Mini Cooper and was later found dead by suicide inside his car in Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett.
According to previous court records, Trombetta was charged in 1999 with domestic assault and battery. Police investigating on the night of the alleged assault found five children age 22 months to 13 years hiding in the basement. They had been living inside Trombetta's house in squalor, which earned it the nickname "The House Of Horrors."
The Trombretta children were quickly relocated in to state custody, and McFeely and his wife Susan eventually took care of the three young girls. At the time, McFeely told reporters "I would like to see my brother-in-law and sister-in-law come to some resolution where they could take responsibility for their family and do the right thing by their kids."
It was eventually disclosed that the state Department of Social Services had received 13 complaints about the Trombetta household from school officials and neighbors. The DSS was heavily criticized for only doing cursory investigations into the conditions at the house.
Two social workers were suspended in the wake of the "House of Horrors" discovery. More than 200 DSS employees rallied outside the Massachusetts State House to protest their co-workers suspension.
Trombetta's assault case was eventually moved to Barnstable District Court. His wife refused to testify against him, and he was found innocent of all charges. He was, however, taken out of the courtroom in handcuffs to face other charges; receiving stolen property, and a variety of motor vehicle violations.
More than two decades after that case, state and local police and the Essex district attorney's office are now investigating what might have prompted McFeely to fatally shoot Trombetta before taking his own life.