The young bride-to-be who was murdered by her own mother this week was living in fear of her killer’s easy access to guns - as the troubled mum struggled to deal with the fact her daughters were growing up.
Taylor Sheats, who was just 22 and was to walk down the aisle this week, perished along with her 17-year-old sister when their mother, Christy opened fire during a family meeting.
Matthew Wiley, a long time friend of the oldest Sheats daughter, confirms Taylor’s mother had been suffering from mental illness for some time – and was in turmoil over the fact her girls were maturing and would soon be moving on with their own lives.
A long time gun advocate who ranted on her Facebook page against gun control legislation, Sheats was known to posses a number of weapons – a fact that terrified her late daughter.
‘She said, “There's a gun in the house and it makes me feel uneasy,"’ former school friend Matthew told US magazine People. ‘She felt so unsafe.
‘She'd say “I don’t know what's going on with my mom. I feel like I should do something – maybe tell her to put the guns in a very safe place where she would forget where [they are]?”’
Revealing that she was unsettled by her mother’s increasingly tense relationship with her father, Jason – who survived the shooting – Taylor was fearful of her ready access to firearms, and concerned about the wellbeing of her younger sister.
Giving some further insight into Christy’s condition at the time of the murders, Matthew says that the mum – who herself died after being shot by police at the scene of the crime – had been plagued by mood swings, and was in the process of changing medications.
Despite her unstable condition, Christy remained vocally protective of her right to own guns.
‘It would be horribly tragic if my ability to protect myself or my family were to be taken away, but that's exactly what Democrats are determined to do by banning semi-automatic handguns,’ she raged in one Facebook post.
Earlier in the year, she shared a meme that stated: ‘I have 10 guns. Obama wants 8 of my guns. How many guns do I have? That's right, I have 10 guns.’