SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (AP) _ A man who beat and stabbed his girlfriend to death Christmas Day and then went on a shooting and arson spree, killing three others before turning the gun on himself, had a history of domestic violence, authorities say.

Authorities piecing together the multiple murder-suicide said family members knew of abuse and urged Teresa Adkins to end her relationship with Louis DeBerardinis.

On Thursday, DeBerardinis killed Adkins, 31, at the home they shared in Niskayuna, just outside Schenectady, and then set the house on fire. Adkins died of blunt head trauma and knife wounds, police said.

DeBerardinis, 35, then drove to an apartment less than a mile away and fatally shot two of Adkins' family members and a friend. Police said DeBerardinis then set fire to the apartment and killed himself.

Police identified the other victims as Susan Gallione, who raised Adkins; Adkins' sister, Pamela Adkins; and a family friend, Bruce Smith.

``There were problems between he and his girlfriend, they fought, he killed her and he went after her family,'' said Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney.

Police have said there were no prior domestic violence calls from the Niskayuna home. But after the deaths, family members told police that DeBerardinis had a history of abusing Adkins.

A preliminary investigation has indicated an apparent domestic dispute Thursday, authorities said.

Firefighters were called to the woman's Niskayuna home around 5 a.m. Thursday and found her dead inside. Minutes later, smoke was reported at an apartment in Schenectady, 10 miles northwest of Albany. When officials arrived, they discovered two men and two women fatally shot inside, and a shotgun was recovered in the apartment.