LAND O' LAKES (FOX 13) - Text messages sent on the day of a murder-suicide may shed light on what happened before a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy apparently killed his wife and then himself.
Investigators say Samantha Keithley's children were in the house when her husband shot her and then turned the gun on himself.
Keithley's close friend, Kristen Kellin got text messages from Keithley the day of the shooting and wonders if there was anything she could have done to prevent the tragedy.
Meanwhile, family friends are raising money for the children orphaned by their parents' deaths.
“She's a great mother a fantastic friend - she didn't deserve any of this,” said Kristen Kellin told FOX 13 News.
Kellin said Keithley sent her messages before the shooting but, by the time she read them, it was too late.
"Kirk has lost his mind Kristin," one of the messages said. "He's literally losing it... He's been harassing me for the last 6 hours and I've asked him repeatedly to just leave me alone because I'm sick."
The last messages said, "I just chucked my ring outside."
Kellin replied the next morning, but her friend was already gone.
“Never in a million years did I think this would happen. There was never any domestic violence, nothing to indicate that he would've just lost it like this,” Kellin said.
Meanwhile, Keithley's friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers have stepped up to help the couple's children.
Their 14-year-old son called 911 after hearing the first muzzle-blast. In the call, he can be heard screaming "My mom was shot! My mom was shot!"
Samantha Keithley had only worked for Keller Williams in Lakeland for a few months but already, she’d left her mark.
Her co-worker, Damion Boyce started a fundraising campaign for Keithley's children. In less than 24 hours, it had already reached more than half of the $50,000 goal.
“There's a lot of people out there who care who are thinking about those children and doing what they can monetarily,” Boyce said. “It took a minute for it to sink in that it was actually her."
For information on the fundraiser, visit https://www.gofundme.com/children-of-samantha-keithley