Sacramento church shooting: Father kills 3 daughters, 4th person, described as chaperon then self. Children’s mother had order of protection against estranged husband in domestic violence incident.
Five people are dead after a man gunned down his 3 daughters inside a California church along with a 4th person described as a chaperon before turning the weapon on himself in a suspected murder-suicide, authorities said.
The shooting happened Monday afternoon, just on 5 p.m at The Church of Sacramento in the main sanctuary area according to Sgt. Rod Grassmann, a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
The three children killed were all girls, aged 9, 10, and 13 years old, Grassmann said. All of the victims died at the scene of the shooting, the official said. The children’s father was identified as 39 year old man, David Fidel Mora-Rojas abc10 reported.
Deputies were called to the church in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood of Sacramento after a church employee had heard gunshots and called 911, Grassmann said.
Grassmann called the shooting a ‘domestic violence incident.’
The gunman was estranged from the children’s mother, who had a restraining order against him, a police official said. Grassmann noted that people with restraining orders against them are not legally allowed to own a firearm.
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said investigators believe the shooting happened during a supervised visit with the children, with an adult, the 4th victim, described as the chaperone.
‘We’ll be out here, I’m sure, most of the night going through this,’ Grassman told reporters. ‘There will be a lot of physical evidence that needs to be collected.’
There were other people besides the family inside the building at the time of the shooting, officials said. At the time of the shootings, the church was not holding a service.
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.
‘Another senseless act of gun violence in America – this time in our backyard. In a church with kids inside. Absolutely devastating,’ tweeted the California governor, Gavin Newsom.
The identity of the victims and the gunman have yet to be released.
No known motive was immediately known, authorities said.