(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) — A man shot and killed his three children, their chaperone and himself during a supervised visit with the kids Monday at a church in Sacramento, California, authorities said.
Five people were killed by deputies who responded to gunfire reports at 5:45 p.m., according to Sergeant. Rod Grassmann with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
Grassman stated that the victims were three minors aged under 15. He didn’t know their genders.
The shooter was estranged from the children’s mother, who had a restraining order against him, Sheriff Scott Jones said.
Jones stated that investigators think the shooting occurred during a supervised visit to the children. The fourth victim was the chaperone.
The shooter’s identity wasn’t immediately released.
According to Grassman’s account, a church employee heard gunshots and dialled 911. According to him, the shooting happened in the main sanctuary.
Sheriff’s officials are investigating it as a domestic violence incident, Grassman said.
Officials didn’t know if the family members belonged to the the church, which sits on a mostly residential block near a commercial area east of downtown Sacramento.
It wasn’t immediately known how many people were at the church or if there were any services or activities at the time of the shooting.
Gov. Gavin Newsom stated that his office is working closely with the local police.
“Another senseless act of gun violence in America — this time in our backyard. It was in a church where there were children. Absolutely devastating,” Newsom said on Twitter.
Weber reported in Los Angeles. Stefanie Dazio, an Associated Press reporter from Los Angeles, also contributed.