SAN DIEGO -- A 9-year-old boy who was shot by his father in a murder-suicide that left his three siblings and mother dead is fighting for his life in the hospital.
The boy, identified as Ezequiel, was shot in the head and the leg, according to his uncle. He underwent emergency surgery Saturday and remained in critical condition Sunday.
His brothers, Zeth, 11, Zuriel, 5, and Enzi, 3, died Saturday from gunshot wounds. Sabrina Rosario, 29, the mother of the four boys, was also killed.
"If you met the children you would never think they were coming from a home of disorder," said Karl Albright, who is an uncle of the four boys. "She shielded them from a lot of things."
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.
Albright told FOX 5 Rosario tried calling him and his wife, who is Rosario's sister, early Saturday just moments before the shooting and left behind a chilling voicemail.
"You could very clearly understand she was terrified. The last thing she had said was, 'Is that your gun?'" recalled Albright. "From where I live to where she lives, if I had gotten in my car and sped at 120 miles an hour, I still wouldn't have made it."
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.
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.
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.
Family members say they wished they'd known sooner how bad the situation was and hope anyone who might be in a similar situation will find the courage to reach out to loved ones for help.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer responded to news of the shooting on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
The tragedy today in Paradise Hills is terribly sad. 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.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) November 16, 2019
As of Sunday afternoon, the family had raised nearly $11,000 for funeral costs on a GoFundMe page.
"There's a lot of people that are chipping in. My boss even gave us a thousand dollars. That was not expected, not required, but welcome. And I'm saying thank you to everybody that I can," said Albright.