Five people have died after a man opened fire Monday night at a Sacramento church and killed his three children, then shot himself, authorities said.
A fifth person killed was also killed in the shooting, said Sgt. Rod Grassmann, spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
Three of the deceased victims were under the age of 15 and were the shooter’s children, the sheriff’s office confirmed. All of the victims died at the scene of the shooting, authorities said.
The shooting occurred at Sacramento Church in the city’s Arden-Arcade neighborhood around 5 p.m., in the church’s main sanctuary, Grassmann said. A church worker was upstairs when he heard gunshots and called the police.
Grassmann called the shooting a “domestic violence incident.”
The shooter was separated from the children’s mother, who had a restraining order against him, a police official said.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said investigators believe the shooting happened during a supervised visitation with the children and that a fourth victim, an adult, was the chaperone.
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“We’ll be here, I’m sure, most of the night going through this,” Grassman said. “There will be a lot of physical evidence that will need to be collected.”
There were people other than family inside the building at the time of the shooting, officials said. It was unclear whether the church was holding a service or another event.
California Governor Gavin Newsom released a statement on the shooting Monday night.
“Another senseless act of gun violence in America – this time in our backyard. In a church with children inside. Absolutely devastating. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and their communities,” his tweet read.