Sacramento church shooting leaves 5 dead, including 3 children

Authorities say a man shot and killed his three children, one other person and then turned the gun on himself at a church in Sacramento on Monday, the sheriff's office confirmed.

Officials said law enforcement officers swarmed an Arden-Arcade neighborhood around 5 p.m. after reports of gunfire. Deputies responded to the house of worship, known as The Church, where they found five people dead.

The victims included three girls ages 9, 10 and 13, officials said. The identity of the other victim wasn't immediately known.

The sheriff's office said the shooter, who is unidentified, had a restraining order against him. An official said he was estranged from the kids' mother. Officials said the shooter was 39 years old. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said investigators believe the shooting happened during a supervised visit with the children, and the fourth victim, an adult, was the chaperone. 

Sgt. Rod Grassman said he didn't know if the family members belonged to the church. 

A church employee heard the gunshots and called 911, Grassman said. The shooting occurred in the main sanctuary area, he said. 

Sheriff's officials are investigating it as a domestic violence incident, Grassman said. 

The church sits on a mostly residential block near a commercial area east of downtown Sacramento. It wasn't immediately known how many people were at the church or if there were any services or activities at the time of the shooting. 

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

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Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said they were monitoring the shooting and working with law enforcement. On Twitter they said they were thinking of the community and the parishioners in the aftermath of this "horrific event." 

"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).

Associated Press contributed to this report.