A 50-year-old policeman in Italy's Genoa city murdered his wife and two young daughters before killing himself and leaving a suicide note.
"Too many problems. I don't want to leave my wife without a husband and my daughters without a father plus problems: I am taking everybody with me," Mauro Agrosi wrote in the suicide note.
Agrosi shot his wife and 10 and 14-year-old daughters dead in their sleep early on Wednesday using a cushion as a silencer.He then called 999 and confessed to the murders before turning the pistol on himself, police said.
Agrosi had some minor gaming debts and had taken out a bank loan that he was repaying with one-fifth of his salary each month, according to investigators.
Agrosi's mother had to be taken to hospital on learning of the tragedy while neighbours said they were in disbelief as the family had seemed such a happy one.
Police colleagues described Agrosi as "balanced" and said he had never shown signs of any mental problems.
But his cousin said Agrosi "had been through a lot" after his father died and his brother committed suicide by jumping to his death from an apartment window.
Agrosi worked as a police computer technician having previously chosen to leave active service.