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Lottery gunman's parents: 'We love you Matt -- but why?'

March 8, 1998
Web posted at: 11:58 a.m. EST (1658 GMT)

HARTFORD, Connecticut (CNN) -- The parents of a Connecticut man who killed five people, including himself, during a shooting spree on Friday reportedly say they are sorry for their son's actions, and that they, too, don't understand why the tragedy happened.

"At this time of grief for many, we offer our sincerest sympathy to all the families and apologize for Matt (Beck)," read the statement from Beck's parents, Pricilla and Donald Beck, to The Hartford Courant.

"I cannot ask you to forgive him for we have not yet forgiven him for what he did," the Becks' letter said.

Matt Beck, 35, had just a week ago returned to his job as an accountant for the state's lottery office in Newington, Connecticut. Beck had been on a four-month leave of absence and had filed a work-related grievance last August.

aftermath scenes
Scenes from the shooting aftermath  

Officials say he was angry about a salary dispute and his failure to win a promotion.

On Friday, shortly after arriving at work, Beck walked through the office and gunned down three of his bosses. He then chased the lottery president outside, shot him in the parking lot, then turned the gun on himself.

In an interview with the Courant, published on Sunday, Donald Beck said his youngest son's adult life had been marked by a battle against depression and several suicide attempts.

The latest attempt was last year, shortly before Matt Beck moved back in with his parents last September, Donald Beck told the paper.

Saving his son last summer "might have been a mistake," Donald Beck told the Courant.

Matt Beck had been under a doctor's care and on prescribed medications for his depression since January 1997, his father reportedly said.

According to the Courant, Matt Beck tried to contact a reporter at the paper the day before the shooting.

"I was wondering if you would have time to speak with me either in person or perhaps you could give me a call today," the message reportedly said.

"It's Thursday, the fifth...Thanks. I'm looking forward to talking to you. Bye. Ah, relating to lottery issues."

Donald Beck reportedly said his son seemed normal, and did not appear depressed, as he left for work on Friday morning.

"He failed his coworkers, his friends, his family and most of all, himself. We love you Matt -- but why?" the family's statement read.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Beck family statement to The Hartford Courant

What our son, Matt, did was wrong, terribly wrong. Nothing anyone can say can justify or condone his actions. In spite of the comfort of coworkers, the love and help from friends and family and the treatment, counseling and medications from his doctors, he chose the wrong path. A path of hopelessness when other avenues were open before him.

Unfortunately and tragically, he decided to take others with him. His murderous act was monstrous, but he was not a monster, as his friends and family can attest. At this time of grief for many, we offer our sincerest sympathy to all the families and apologize for Matt. I cannot ask you to forgive him for we have not yet forgiven him for what he did.

He failed his coworkers, his friends, his family and most of all, himself.

We love you Matt -- but why?

Pricilla Beck
Donald Beck

 
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