Sacramento, CA – A father killed his three little girls and the adult chaperone who brought them to see him during a supervised visit at a church in Sacramento on Monday evening.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Sergeant Rodney Grassmann said that a church employee reported hearing gunshots at about 5:07 pm. on Feb. 28 and went outside to call 911, KCRA reported.
“They said they heard a shot and then additional shots — [the employee] left the building,” Sgt. Grassmann said.
He said the shooting was over before deputies arrived on the scene, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Sgt. Glassman said the 39-year-old father, who was the non-custodial parent, was meeting with his nine, 10, and 13-year-old daughters at the house of worship called “The Church in Sacramento” in the 2000-block of Wyda Way in Arden Arcade, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said Monday night that it was unclear whether the adult who was chaperoning the visit was a social worker or a church employee.
“The shooter came in and — what appears to be — killed the person who was supervising the visit, killed his own three children and then turned the gun on himself,” Sheriff Jones said.
Police say a man shot a killed his three daughters and their chaperone at a church in Sacramento, California, before turning the gun on himself. pic.twitter.com/pbIefBU6Kj
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 1, 2022
The sheriff said the children’s mother was estranged from their father and had a restraining order against him and wasn’t involved in the incident, the Sacramento Bee reported.
He also said that people who have a temporary restraining order against then are prohibited from having firearms.
Sheriff Jones said the girls’ mother was cooperating with investigators, CNN reported.
Neighbor Sandi Davis was outside walking her dog when she heard gunfire erupt from The Church, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Davis said she hit the ground and yelled for a neighbor to take cover from the gunfire.
“This isn’t the answer,” she said. “This guy killed his kids. This hurts so bad. Children are innocent, they didn’t have a chance at life.”
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She explained that The Church helped lots of people in the neighborhood and frequently facilitated visits with non-custodial parents, including for families who were not church members, and said she was alarmed by what had happened, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Breaking news-flowers are being dropped off now in front of The Church in Sacramento where three girls were killed by their dad and then he killed a person during his supervised visit with kids. He then killed himself. Girls were ages 9, 10 and 13. Neighbors are heartbroken pic.twitter.com/UlBZ0q3mwX
— Will Tran (@KRON4WTran) March 1, 2022
Sgt. Grassmann said he didn’t know if any of the family involved in the shooting incident were members of the congregation, KTVU reported.
The church is located on a mostly-residential block and has services for English, Spanish, and Chinese speakers.
A gunman killed his 3 daughters and another person at a church in Sacramento, before killing himself. Police say he used an AR-15 and believe it was linked to a domestic dispute.
The girls were 9, 10 and 13.
U.S. gun violence has killed at least 246 children in 2022. pic.twitter.com/oI1XMv5Nn5
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Sheriff Jones said multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), were assisting with the investigation, KCRA reported.
“When something big like this happens, everyone comes to help us out,” Sgt. Grassmann explained. “Everybody has come out of their own jurisdiction to come to do what they can to help out not knowing how big this scene would be or how long it would go on.”
Authorities have not yet released the names of the gunman or any of his victims.