SAN DIEGO -- A tragic murder-suicide that left three children, their mother and the shooter dead and one other child injured has rocked the Paradise Hills community.
Police said the shooter was the father of the four children.
"It's just sad that adults have to take their problems out on the innocent," said Gabriel Durazo, who lives nearby. "That's the saddest part about this situation here."
Durazo told FOX 5 he frequently rides his bike through the area and would see the kids playing outside. Another neighbor said the children would often play with the other neighborhood kids.
"Around here there's a lot of kids and [now the parents] have to tell their kids, 'Hey, you won't be able to play with these kids anymore because they're not here,'" said Sanya Gordon, who told FOX 5 her own kids have also played with the children.
Gordon described hearing the gunshots just before 7 a.m. but said she didn't think it was real because she had been sleeping. Later, she watched as the children's bodies were carried from the house. "My heart just dropped down to my gut," Gordon said. "I just feel so sad. I feel lifeless and just sick to my stomach."
Other neighborhood parents expressed similar thoughts. Durazo said he has three children of his own, two the same age as two of the young victims.
"It totally hit me," Durazo said. "Rattled my nerves a little bit, you know? Kind of left me a little shaky because I have kids, so it touches home. Just to think that someone would do that to kids."
Police have said even the law enforcement officers working the crime scene were "distraught" and were receiving support services.
One of the children who was shot was in critical condition Saturday after undergoing emergency surgery, authorities said.
Police have not yet released the identities of the victims.
Editor’s note: This article initially reported that the 11-year-old victim was in critical condition in the hospital. Police have not yet confirmed the age of the victim who was fighting for his life in the hospital.