UPDATE: Mother, father, 3 children dead in apparent murder-suicide stemming from bitter divorce

Five members of a San Diego family are dead — including three young children — after an apparent murder-suicide sparked by a rancorous divorce.

San Diego police said an estranged husband shot and killed his wife and three of their children Saturday morning and wounded a fourth child, who is listed in critical condition after emergency surgery.

The children ranged in age from 3 to 11. Police initially said the oldest boy had survived, but later said they weren’t sure.

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“It’s still very early in the investigation but it appears to be a tragic case of domestic violence, murder-suicide,” San Diego Police Lt Matt Dobbs told NBC San Diego. “We believe the male came over this morning, there was some kind of argument or disagreement and he used a hand gun and shot his family before turning the gun upon himself.”

The male was found with a bullet wound to the head, Dobbs said. He said the mother had obtained a restraining order against her husband the day before, but he didn’t know if the order had been served, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Earlier, Dobbs said that a 911 call came in shortly before 7 a.m. from a “granny flat” attached to a main residence in Paradise Hills. No one spoke to the dispatcher, who could hear arguing in the background and someone being asked to leave, he said. A second call came in as officers were on their way to the location, this one from a relative who lived in the main house and who reported arguing and what sounded like a nail gun.

When no one answered a knock at the door, officers went to the back of the home and saw through a window a bloody child lying on the floor. At that point, they broke into the house and found six victims with gunshot wounds.

Dobbs said a 3-year-old boy and the two adults were pronounced dead at the scene. A 5-year-old boy, a 9-year-old boy, and an 11-year-old boy were rushed to the hospital, but two died of their wounds, the Union-Tribune reported.

Officials did not release the name of the family. They said a gun was found inside the home.

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[Featured image: Pixabay]