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Man who killed wife and 7 others had a drinking problem

The man who shot dead his wife and seven of her friends during her football party on Sunday had a serious drinking problem that made him violent.

Police say Spencer Hight, 32, burst into the home of his estranged wife, 27-year-old Meredith Lane, while she was hosting a group of friends to watch the NFL at her home in Plano, Texas, and opened fire.

Seven people were pronounced dead at the scene, one died a short time later in hospital, while a ninth, who hasn't been named, is still being treated for their injuries.

Hight was shot dead by a cop shortly after the attack, which unfolded just hours before what would have been his sixth anniversary. 

He and Lane were married in 2011, and at first things were great, until he lost his job in 2015 and developed a drinking problem, according to the Dallas News. 

And on Sunday, in a state of fury, Hight turned a gun on some of his own friends, such 31-year-old Rion Morgan, who was a groomsman at his to Lane.

The other victims are: Anthony 'Tony' Cross, 33; Olivia Deffner, 24; James Dunlop, 29; Darryl William Hawkins, 22; Myah Bass, 28; and Caleb Edwards, 25. 

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Meredith Lane (left), 27, was killed when her estranged Spencer Hight (right) opened fire on her and several friends as they watched the Dallas Cowboys game on Sunday

Meredith Lane (left), 27, was killed when her estranged Spencer Hight (right) opened fire on her and several friends as they watched the game on Sunday

One victim was identified as Darryl Hawkins, who a friend said liked to bring people together

Anthony 'Tony' Cross was also killed. His friend said he 'had nothing but love in his heart'

Two victims have been identified as Darryl Hawkins (left), who a friend said liked to bring people together, and Anthony 'Tony' Cross (right), who 'had nothing but love in his heart'

In a state of fury, Hight turned the gun on some of his own friends, including James Dunlop, 29 (left) and 31-year-old Rion Morgan (Right), who was a groomsman when Hight and Lane were married

In a state of fury, Hight turned the gun on some of his own friends, including James Dunlop, 29 (left) and 31-year-old Rion Morgan (Right), who was a groomsman when Hight and Lane were married

Meredith's mother Debbie said that Spencer lost his job doing contract work for Texas Instruments in 2015, around the same time the couple bought their first home. 

Initially Meredith was said to be supportive, but eventually she started hounding him for not helping out with the mortgage. 

Lane filed for divorce from Hight, citing 'discord or conflict of personalities,' in July. At that time she  told her parents that Spencer had been physically aggressive towards her at least twice.

Once, last fall, she said he slammed her face against a wall. She did not report incidents to the police.  

A friend of Spencer's who spoke to the News on condition of anonymity said he was a 'party animal' who drank a lot and had a short temper.

She also said he had a love for weapons - particularly guns, knives and swords. 

The woman told the newspaper that she last heard from Spencer a few days before the attack when they were messaging online. She said he seemed sad and lonely, and she told him to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

She and seven others died on the scene; an eighth died in hospital. One more person is still hospitalized. Police have not officially identified any of the victims or the killer

She and seven others died on the scene; an eighth died in hospital. One more person is still hospitalized. Police have not officially identified any of the victims or the killer

Lane loved to cook and host parties, her mother said

She had filed for divorce from Hight earlier in the year and the couple stopped living together in March

Lane loved to cook and host parties, her mother said. She had filed for divorce from Hight earlier in the year and the couple stopped living together in March

Meredith and Spencer stopped living together in March, just a few months before she filed for divorce. 

Lane's mom, Debbie Lane, told WFAA 8 that her daughter 'was a cook, and a quite fine one, and she loved hosting friends and families.

'This was her first opportunity to do it after the divorce and he didn't take it well.' 

One of Lane's guests was Darryl Hawkins, his friend Zully Romo said. Romo, who was spotted by CBS DFW near the taped-off crime scene on Monday, had noted that Hawkins hadn't turned up for work on Monday.

'Little by little I started connecting pieces and unfortunately, it led me here,' she said. 'It led me here to find out that he's not with us anymore.'

Hawkins, who worked at a local Acura dealership as a sales consultant, brought people

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