Deputies: Man kills Marine veteran on Memorial Day before committing suicide

William Powers (Source: Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office)
William Powers (Source: Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office)
Mark Massoletti
Mark Massoletti
Michael Massoletti
Michael Massoletti

BAYOU L'OURSE, LA (WAFB) - Authorities are investigating a home invasion early Monday morning that left a father and son dead, including a Marine veteran.

The Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office said the deadly break-in happened just after 4 a.m. Deputies reported receiving a 911 call about someone inside a home in the 100 block of Felicia Street in Bayou L'Ourse, LA.

According to reports, William S. Powers Jr., 32, went into the unlocked home and walked into the master bedroom where Mark Massoletti, 52, was asleep with his girlfriend. Deputies said Powers attacked Massoletti and the girlfriend woke up and ran to get help from Mark's son, Michael Massoletti, 23.

Authorities said Michael Massoletti was asleep in another bedroom with his wife. The pair was just married on May 3, 2014. Detectives added the wife called 911 immediately and was able to run out of the house to a neighbor's home and call 911 a second time.

Investigators reported while Michael Massoletti's wife ran to get help, Mark Massoletti's girlfriend and Michael Massoletti were fighting with Powers. Mark Massoletti's girlfriend was able to get away, but Mark Massoletti and Michael Massoletti were both killed. Deputies said after the father and son were dead, Powers took his life with a small caliber rifle.

Detectives reported the Massolettis appeared to have suffered from multiple cuts and lacerations, but the actual cause of death will not be determined until an autopsy is complete. The bodies will be sent to the Orleans Parish Coroner's Office. The autopsies are scheduled for early Tuesday morning.

The two women were later sent to the hospital for minor injuries and are expected to be released soon.

Sheriff Mike Waguespack said investigators are trying to figure out why Powers went into the house. Neighbors told deputies the elder Massoletti is a former Marine who was known to collect guns, knives and swords. They said he also had surveillance cameras he used for personal security and it was not unusual for him to leave his doors unlocked.

Deputies are not sure if Massoletti was killed with his own weapons or if Powers used something else.

"I think autopsy, toxicology is going to paint the rest of the picture of what was going on, what was in his system, what caused him to react this way. Or do we have someone who is mentally disturbed? I'm not sure," said Waguespack.

Waguespack also said Powers was released from parish jail on May 7, 2013 after serving a six month sentence for simple battery, disturbing the peace, battery of a police officer and resisting an officer.

Powers lived across the street from Mark and Michael Massoletti.

"Neighbors indicated that the owner of the residence had warned him not to cross his line. He had a line on his property of about five or six flags. He told him, cross this line of flags, you are going to have some problems."

If anyone has information concerning this case or others, please contact the Criminal Investigative Division at 985-526-1627 or Communications Division at 985-369-2912.

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