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Brother: Gunman in murder-suicide near J'town battled PTSD

Published: Mar. 23, 2016 at 4:58 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2016 at 4:58 PM EDT
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Brad Hettinger (Source: Rattermans Funeral Homes)
Brad Hettinger (Source: Rattermans Funeral Homes)
Courtney and Collin Hettinger (Source: Facebook)
Courtney and Collin Hettinger (Source: Facebook)
Billie Hettinger (Source: Facebook)
Billie Hettinger (Source: Facebook)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The brother of a man who shot and killed his wife and two young children and then torched their house before taking his own life on Sunday said in a written statement about the tragedy that Brad Hettinger had been battling post-traumatic stress disorder.

The statement, issued just after noon on Wednesday, reads in its entirety as follows:

"We as a family are devastated and deeply shaken by the events that have transpired. Brad Hettinger was an honorable, respectable, family centered man who believed strongly in his religious values, who served his country with valor, and who provided a nurturing and caring environment for his family. Before the events of March 20, Brad was actively seeking help for complications associated with PTSD while simultaneously attending marriage counseling with his wife. We ask the greater Louisville community to direct some of your prayers and thoughts toward the Gayheart and Hettinger families during this most grievous of times."

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Billie Jo Gayheart Hettinger, 32, and the couple's children, 4-year-old Courtney and 5-year-old Collin attended Palm Sunday Mass with Brad shortly before the murder-suicide at their home on Saratoga Springs Place near Jeffersontown.

Brad Hettinger's obituary shows him in a military uniform and identifies him as Captain Brad Louis Hettinger. It states that he had served as captain of the 8-229th ARB Task Force Apache Flying Tigers overseas. The obituary also stated he received a Bronze Star in 2011. The medal is awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces for heroic or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.

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