Friday, July 30, 1999 Published at 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Atlanta killings stun America
Police evacuate office workers after the shootings
Authorities in the US city of Atlanta are trying to find out what led a stock exchange trader to walk into office buildings and gun down nine people before turning his gun on himself.
The two children were found in bed, according to police Captain Simmons, while Mr Barton's wife was discovered in a cupboard.
He said police had found what they believe to have been the murder weapon, a hammer.
Henry County Chief of Police Jimmy Mercer said there would be "a number of people for a long period of time trying to find out why Mr Barton was provoked to the extent that he was - that he felt the need to take out as many people as he did".
He was ordered to pull over at a petrol station, but shot himself before police officers could arrest him.
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The All-Tech Investment Group - in whose offices four people were shot - said it was "shocked and saddened by the senseless tragedy".
Another spokeswoman for the company said she "did not know what precipitated this rampage".
"We understand that he had marital difficulties and that he was going through a divorce," she added.
The Atlanta Police Department is examining four notes - three of them hand-written, the fourth typed on a computer - found with the bodies of Barton's second wife and two children at their home in Stockbridge, 16 miles south-east of Atlanta.
Police believe he beat them to death at least two days prior to the shootings.
They are also examining reports that Barton may have lost more than $70,000 while speculating on the stock exchange.
The drama began shortly before 3pm local time (1900GMT) on Thursday, when Mr Barton walked into the All-Tech offices on Piedmont Road in Atlanta's Buckhead financial district.
Moments later he produced a pair of handguns - later identified by police as a 9mm and a .45-calibre - and opened fire, killing four office workers.
One witness quoted the killer as saying, shortly before he began shooting: "I hope this doesn't ruin your trading day."
At least a dozen people injured in the shootings were still in hospital on Friday.
Three of the wounded at Atlanta's Grady Hospital were in critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman, though they were said to be able to speak to nursing staff.
This is the full sequence of events, as outlined by the Atlanta Police Department:
'Our nation is in pain'
President Clinton expressed his sadness over the shootings, and said federal officials were assisting state and local authorities in their investigation.
"We have no information at all" on what set off the killing spree, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell said late Thursday, "except we're certain Mr. Barton came to Piedmont Road and killed nine people."
The Mayor of Atlanta, Bill Campbell, called for prayers "for our nation and for our city; these are unspeakable tragedies".
"I think our nation is in pain," he said; "there is a cancer that's eating at the heart of this country."
Mr Barton was the main suspect in the unsolved double murder of his 36-year-old first wife, Debra, and his mother-in-law, Elois Spivey, on Labour Day in 1993.
The two women were found beaten to death in a camper van in east Alabama.
His former father-in-law told a local newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, that the latest killings "completed what Barton had started six years ago".
"The man has destroyed nearly my whole family," said Bill Spivey. "The man who it appears killed my wife and daughter also killed my two grandchildren."
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