LAKE GEORGE -- Saturday morning in a quiet neighborhood just outside the village, a man shot his ex-wife with a shotgun, police said.
Behind the picket fence but outside the house at 3 Elizabeth St., the man, Douglas D. Cunningham, 52, also shot himself in the head, police said. He was found dead in his driveway.
The woman, Kathleen M. Brados, 47, was found in the yard with a gunshot wound to her lower back, police said. She was taken to Glens Falls Hospital, where she died.
Warren County Sheriff Nathan "Bud" York said three shots were fired with a shotgun, and police believe one shot went astray.
Neighbors heard gunshots at about 7:30 a.m., police reported at a press conference Saturday afternoon. York said the couple had been divorced within the last month.
"Anytime you have something like this, it's very tragic," he said.
York said Brados had at least one child, a daughter who is 12 or 13, but said he believes Cunningham was not the child's father.
The couple had no children together, but Cunningham had an adult son, neighbor Marian Morey said.
"Kathleen was such a sweet person," Morey said.
Morey recalled how, in the past, Brados and her daughter would come over to her Thomson Avenue house to babysit her pug, and they didn't want to take any money for the few hours of care.
Brados' daughter is currently living with her father out west, Morey said.
The couple could have been having financial troubles, Morey suggested.
A few years ago, Cunningham asked her for money to help pay an electric bill, Morey said, and she wrote him a check because she couldn't imagine the family without electricity during Christmas time.
He had also once asked her and another neighbor for $1,400 to pay his mortgage, Morey said.
The county sheriff's office was previously at the residence for a minor dispute over property in 2003, police said.
State Police had also at one time issued an order of protection for Brados' daughter against Cunningham, York said.
In the last six months, neighbors saw sheriff's patrol cars at the house, Morey said, but York said there was no record in his archives of police visits to the house.
Despite the divorce, York said, police believe Brados and Cunningham were both still living at the address.
But Kit Moon, another neighbor, said Brados had moved out of the house in recent weeks and had been in the process of moving out her belongings.
"I was her best friend," Moon said. "She called me Mom. I always told her if I ever had a daughter I'd want her just like her."
When asked why she thought Cunningham killed Brados, Moon mentioned the divorce.
"He didn't want one, and she did," she said. "He was abusive toward her, mostly verbal. She was getting scared of him."
Moon said she noticed the police had been to the couple's house "two or three times in the last two or three years," but she said Cunningham could be thoughtful.
"Doug was always nice to me, very nice. Doug has taken care of my yard, my snowplowing, everything for me, taken my garbage every week.
"If he was all bad, he would have been bad towards me," she said.
She said she and Brados were planning on taking a trip together, after Brados got "everything straightened around."
"I knew her better than anybody," she said. "She even stayed over here a night or two. She felt safe over here, I guess. She was the type of person who just lit up a room, she was so beautiful."
Will Doolittle contributed to this report.