Police at the crime scene in Paradise Hills. Courtesy OnScene.TV

The shooting deaths of five family members at a home in Paradise Hills Saturday was “a domestic violence murder-suicide” in which a man shot his wife and four children before turning the gun on himself, San Diego’s Police chief said.

A 29-year-old woman and three of her children — ages 3, 5 and 9 — were killed, along with the children’s father. who turned the gun on himself, police said. A fourth child, an 11-year-old boy, was hospitalized and was undergoing emergency surgery.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends,” Chief David Nisleit said, describing the crime as a “senseless tragedy.”

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, in a Twitter response to the shooting, said, “The tragedy Saturday in Paradise Hills is terribly sad. All of San Diego mourns for the family and the surrounding neighborhood. This senseless act of violence goes against everything our community stands for and we will get through this together.

Police are not identifying the victims at this time.

At around 6:40 a.m. Saturday, an argument could be heard in the background by 911 dispatchers when a call came in from a home in the 2100 block of Flintridge Drive, Homicide Lt. Matthew Dobbs said at an afternoon news conference. Nobody said anything in the 911 call.

When police arrived at the home, an officer saw a child through a back window inside on the ground covered in blood.

Nisleit said it appeared the couple had been going through a divorce process and the husband was not currently living at the home. The wife had sought a restraining order against her husband around Nov. 1 after officers responded to the home to “preserve the peace” amid an argument about property.

The wife had received the restraining order on Friday.

The chief said the police department receives about 50 domestic violence calls a day and said victims shouldn’t be afraid to call the police for help.

Referring to Saturday’s deaths, Nisleit said “these are the toughest calls we respond to. It greatly affects these responding officers.”

Updated at 3:40 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019

— City News Service

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.