A long-time friend of gunman Quinn Patterson, who killed a mother and daughter at a Whangarei property yesterday, says he wasn't a monster.
Leah Cameron had known Patterson for seven years and says he suffered from deep depression and needed help.
"He had a history of depression and in the past he had taken medication for it. Nothing really seemed to help that much and he would have these episodes, these little depressive episodes.
"He isn't the easiest person to deal with because he can be very confrontational," Ms Cameron told 1 NEWS reporter Helen Castles.
It's believed Patterson shot mother and daughter Wendy Campbell, 60, and Natanya Campbell, 37, and wounded a third man.
He is believed to have died, although police have not provided details on whether his body has been recovered.
Ms Cameron said Mr Paterson was a recluse who struggled socially but that he was gentle, kind and intelligent.
She says he had been very worried he was going to be evicted and that put even more strain on his mental health.
"A couple of weeks ago he contacted me and he was in a bit of a state - depression - he said a lot of it was the fact he hadn’t had any sleep and he was under constant pressure about trying to work out what to do with the house."
Ms Cameron shared a final text she received from Mr Paterson which included the lines:
"Looking over my life I see everything I love torn from me. This life is just a continuous struggle without end or point and I'm done with it.
"Each day I wake up and I realise to my dismay that I'm still here."
Where can I get support and help?
Below is a list of some of the services available which offer support, information and help.
Lifeline 24/7 – 0800 543 354
Kidsline (aimed at children up to 18 years of age, available 24/7) – 0800 54 37 54
Depression Helpline 24/7 - 0800 111 757
Healthline - 0800 611 116
Samaritans - 0800 726 666 (for callers from the Lower North Island, Christchurch and West Coast) or 0800 211 211 / (04) 473 9739 (for callers from all other regions)
Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What's Up (for 5-18 year olds; 1 pm to 11 pm) - 0800 942 8787
www.depression.org.nz - includes The Journal online help service
www.thelowdown.co.nz - visit the website, email email@example.com or free text 5626 (emails and text messages will be responded to between 12 noon and 12 midnight).
"The Government has to balance pay demands across the public sector. We have gone as far as we can in terms of extra Government money," Dr Clark said this afternoon.