Police officers investigate the scene of a shooting at the church in Sacramento, California, on Monday. AFP
A father shot and killed his three daughters, their chaperone and himself during a supervised visit with the girls on Monday at a church in Sacramento, police said.
Deputies responding to reports of gunfire around 5pm found five people dead, including the shooter, at the church in the Arden-Arcade neighbourhood, said Sgt. Rod Grassmann with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
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A fifth person also died in the shooting in Sacramento, California, though it was not clear if that person was related to what police said was a domestic incident.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies gather at a church in Sacramento, California, on Monday. AP
All three children who died were under the age of 15, Sergeant Rod Grassmann of Sacramento County Sheriff's Office told reporters.
"At 5:07 this afternoon, we received a call that there was a shooting inside the church," Grassmann said.
"We have found now there's an adult male, a father who has shot and killed his three children under the age of 15," he added.
"And my understanding is that there is a fifth person that is also deceased. I don't know if they are related."
An investigator works following a shooting in Sacramento, California, US, on Monday. Reuters
An employee of The Church In Sacramento heard the gunshots and called 911, Grassmann said.
Sheriff’s officials are investigating it as a domestic violence incident, he said.
Officials didn’t know if the family members belonged to the church, which sits on a mostly residential block near a commercial area east of downtown Sacramento.
The shooter’s name wasn’t immediately released, but officials said he was 39 years old.
Police and the suspect exchanged fire, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The situation has been stabilized and there is no threat to the public," the Orange Police Department said in a post to their Facebook page.
Others were taken to Community Regional Medical Center in critical condition, and some are in critical but stable condition, the TV stations reported.
Gun violence in the United States has been under scrutiny after last month's massacres at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas — which left 19 children and two teachers dead — and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York — which killed 10 people.
An intensive manhunt began late Saturday after a man opened fire inside a dance studio and club in Monterey Park, a city near Los Angeles with a large Asian community. Witnesses said he had shot indiscriminately, and appeared to have a lot of ammunition.
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