According to a report from regional outlet KCRA, a worker at the religious facility—identified as The Church in Sacramento in the Arden-Arcade area—was upstairs when they heard gunshots around 5:07 p.m. local time. At this point, the worker is said to have gone outside to call authorities.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office later revealed during a press conference that the man had killed his three children, as well as himself. “It was an adult male, a father, who has shot and killed his three children who are under the age of 15. … There is a fifth person who is also deceased,” Sgt. Rod Grassman told reporters.
Per the Associated Press, Sacramento County deputies arrived at the scene to find five people dead, including the shooter and a person believed to be the chaperone of his supervised visit with the children. The children’s ages were reported as 9, 10, and 13. The mother of the children had a restraining order against the father, who was not named in initial reports.
“Another senseless act of gun violence in America—this time in our backyard. In a church with kids inside. Absolutely devastating,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement released Monday night. “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and their communities. We are working closely with local law enforcement.”
Local authorities are said to be investigating the church shooting as a domestic violence incident. Complex has reached out to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office for additional comment.