SAN DIEGO — Three children are among five people that were fatally shot Saturday morning, the San Diego Police Department said.
The children who were shot were ages 11, 9, 5 and 3. The 3-year-old boy was pronounced dead at the scene, as were a 31-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman, according to SDPD.
It happened in the 2100 block of Flintridge Drive in the Paradise Hills neighborhood.
The call came in around 6:49 a.m. Saturday, police said. There was no communication with the caller during the 911 call, but the dispatcher could hear arguing in the background.
When police arrived, they looked through a window and discovered a child laying on the ground, covered in blood. They broke through a front window to enter the residence. Once inside, they found several people suffering from gunshot wounds.
“We believe the man came over this morning, there was some kind of argument and he used a handgun to shoot his family before turning the gun on himself,” said Lieutenant Matt Dobbs of SDPD.
Police said the two adults and 3-year-old child died at the scene. Two children later died at the hospital, and one boy in critical condition was undergoing surgery Saturday.
Neighbors woke up to a horrifying scene. “I heard some gunshots,” said Sanya Gordon, who lives nearby. “I saw a bunch of police cars. I saw them taking the bodies out of the house. I felt sick to my stomach.” Gordon said she did not know the children personally but saw them every day playing with other neighborhood kids outside and riding their bicycles.
Police said there are no outstanding suspects and no arrests in the case, adding it was a domestic dispute involving one family.
Police said the man and woman were the parents of the children and were married but separated.
“A couple weeks ago around Nov. 1, officers responded to the same address over a dispute about property,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said in a press conference Saturday afternoon. “The man was trying to get some tools from his wife while they were separated. The female provided information at that time on how to obtain a restraining order.”
Dobbs added the victim tried to obtain a restraining order yesterday. It was unclear if that was served, though the shooter knew of it, Dobbs said. “This is a tragic case of murder-suicide due to domestic violence,” Dobbs said.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer responded to news of the shooting on Twitter Saturday afternoon. “The tragedy today in Paradise Hills is terribly sad,” his tweet said. “All of San Diego mourns for the family and the surrounding neighborhood. This senseless act of violence goes against everything our community stands for and we will get through this together.”
Police said they would not be identifying the victims at this time.
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.