Father with restraining order kills daughters, chaperone, himself at Sacramento church

A father with a restraining order shot and killed his three daughters, their chaperone and himself during a supervised visit with the girls at a church in Sacramento, California, authorities said.

His girls were 9, 10 and 13. 

The man wasn't identified and neither were the victims. Authorities said the man was 39 years old. The mother was not there at the time of the shooting and has been alerted to what happened. 

The Sacramento County Sheriff was expected to release the names later on Tuesday. 

Deputies responding to reports of gunfire around 5 p.m. Monday found five people dead, including the shooter, at the church in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood, said Sgt. Rod Grassmann with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooter was estranged from his daughters’ mother, who had a restraining order against him, Sheriff Scott Jones said.

Investigators believe the shooting happened during a supervised visit with the children and that the fourth victim was their chaperone, Jones said.

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.

Sacramento County Supervisor Rich Desmond, who stressed that he lives in the community, said what happened is "evil." 

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 Church caters to English, Chinese and Spanish worshippers, according to its website. No events for Monday were listed on its online calendar.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said his office was working with local law enforcement.

"Another senseless act of gun violence in America — this time in our backyard. In a church with kids inside. Absolutely devastating," Newsom said on Twitter.

If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic violence and need assistance, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)


The Associated Press contributed to this report. Kathleen Ronanyne reported from Sacramento. Christopher Weber reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press reporter Stefanie Dazio also contributed from LA.