The Latest – Tuesday, March 1
Officials have identified the four victims and the suspect behind Monday night’s shooting in a Sacramento-area church. Click or tap here for details.
While the girls’ names have not been reported, the Natomas Unified School District identified them as students of Bannon Creek School and Leroy Greene Academy.
It is with deep sadness that we share with you news of the tragic deaths of three Natomas Unified School District students. We learned late Monday night that the students lost yesterday in the tragic incident, that happened at the church in the Arden area, were Natomas Unified students. There are very few words that can give comfort right now for this unspeakable tragedy. There will be a range of emotions from our students and staff, particularly at the schools where the students attended – Bannon Creek and Leroy Greene Academy. We will have our Social-Emotional Support Team and Chaplains from the Sacramento Police Department available at those two schools this morning to provide grief counseling and support. This support extends to anyone in the district who may need it. We are aware of some family members in other parts of our community, but we know there will be others in Natomas whose lives were touched by this sadness. If you, your own students, or other loved ones need assistance during this, please start with your site principal or go to our social-emotional help webpage here to access resources to get help. For today and the next few days, let’s focus on taking care of each other. If we learn there is more we can do, we will share.Natomas Unified School District
Original story below:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Authorities said a father allegedly killed his three children and a man Monday inside an Arden-Arcade church before turning the gun on himself.
According to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rod Grassmann, an employee upstairs from the sanctuary at The Church in Sacramento on Wyda Way heard several gunshots and ran out to call for help shortly before 5 p.m.
Grassmann said deputies responded and learned a man killed three of his children. The victims were three girls ages 9, 10 and 13, Grassmann said.
“The shooter, who is deceased, has a restraining order against him and has to have supervised visits with his children. We believe that at this church that’s what was happening, a supervised visit,” said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.
The shooter also allegedly killed the 59-year-old man who was there to supervise the visit between the father and his children, according to Jones. Grassmann clarified the fourth victim’s identity Tuesday after it was initially reported they were a woman.
The shooter reportedly then killed himself, officials said. He has not yet been identified, but officials said he was 39 years old.
Grassmann explained that the children’s mother had a restraining order against the shooter.
“There’s a number of things that we’re going to be looking at. Obviously, the investigation will be ongoing, even though there is no outstanding suspect. As in, he has a weapon,” Jones told reporters. “If he was the person in a domestic violence restraining order, he shouldn’t have had a weapon, and there are some other prohibitions that might be in place here of why he should not have a weapon. So we’re very interested to find out that.”
“Obviously, that does not change the tragedy that occurred here, but there are still going to be a lot of unanswered questions. This investigation will continue to go on for some time,” the sheriff continued.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg responded to the shooting on Twitter.
“Heartbroken by another senseless act of gun violence and the killing of children,” he wrote.
Gov. Gavin Newsom also wrote on Twitter that his office is “working closely with law enforcement.”
Another senseless act of gun violence in America – this time in our backyard. In a church with kids inside. Absolutely devastating. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and their communities. We are working closely with local law enforcement.California Gov. Gavin Newsom
Community activist Berry Accius went to the neighborhood Monday night to support the community.
“Domestic violence is real. Just to hear that a father would take the lives of his three kids, being a father myself, I could never imagine,” Accius told FOX40. “And it just goes to show how much we need more of a commitment to mental health.”
“It’s a tragedy no matter how it unfolds. There is just no explanation of how these violent, domestic relationships go bad, especially when the victim appears to do everything right, reached out for help,” Sheriff Jones said. “So I would just encourage any person that’s in a volatile relationship — you can’t fully comprehend what someone is capable of — but if you feel like you’re in danger, then get out and get some help and talk to someone you trust.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.