BANGOR, Maine — The man found dead Tuesday evening inside an apartment at 49 Bolling Drive has been identified as William R. Spiess, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Wednesday.
Spiess, 53, pulled out a handgun during a quarrel with his wife earlier in the day and “died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the sergeant said.
His 40-year-old wife of a decade and her teenage son ran from the apartment at about 2 p.m. Tuesday and called police, saying they heard a gunshot as they left. Spiess’ body was found in an upstairs bedroom at about 4:40 p.m. by the police department’s Special Response Team, which cordoned off the area and shot some type of gas into the home before they entered with guns drawn, Edwards said.
Detective Larry Morrill and evidence technician Eric Tourtelotte, who are part of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division, were both called to the scene to collect blood evidence, the sergeant said.
The woman and her son were not injured.
“They just had a domestic argument — a verbal argument — that resulted with him brandishing a gun,” Edwards said.
The handgun was recovered from the scene, he said.
There are no reports of previous domestic violence involving the couple, Edwards said.
“We have dealt with him on other occasions,” the sergeant said.
While Tuesday’s domestic violence incident did not result in a homicide, a report by the Maine Domestic Violence Review panel in April revealed that suicidal ideation is a strong factor in many domestic violence homicide cases.
Nearly half of the 13 Mainers who committed domestic violence homicides in Maine between March 2008 and July 2011 also took their own lives, and nine of the 13 exhibited suicidal behavior before committing the crimes, the report states.
“A staggering statistic that emerged through the review process is that 70 percent of the perpetrators showed suicidal ideation prior to the murder-suicide,” Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marchese said in the report.
Of the 13 perpetrators, six committed suicide. Four were husbands, one was a father and one was a mother, the report states.
“As a matter of public safety, it is critical that any threat to commit suicide be taken seriously and recognized as a potential precursor to homicide,” Marchese said.
There were 48 homicides in Maine in 2010 and 2011, and 21 were domestic violence homicides, the report states.
Police in Maine handled more cases of domestic violence last year than the year before, according to data compiled by the Maine Department of Public Safety’s uniform crime reporting division.
Police handled 5,360 domestic violence cases in 2011, an increase of 247 cases, or 4.7 percent, over the 5,117 reports taken in 2010, the data show.