STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) _ Police hunted on Wednesday for a six-fingered man accused of shooting to death a woman and three of her grandchildren.

The man is the ex-boyfriend of the mother of two of the children.

The San Joaquin sheriff's office said the mother had left her children with their grandmother on Tuesday to go to the courthouse to try to get a restraining order against the man.

A brother of two of the victims escaped and called for help.

``We received a frantic phone call from a 10-year-old boy that there were people dead in his house and he was being chased by the killer,'' said sheriff's Deputy Joe Herrera.

Police searched for Roger Leroy Johnson, 48. He is missing four fingers on his right hand.

In addition to the woman, a 4-year-old boy, a 5-year-old girl and a 7-year-old girl were killed. The two girls were sisters, and their brother was the one who called police. The youngest victim was their cousin.

Johnson was not believed to be the father of any of the children, Herrera said.

The shooting occurred at a house on the rural fringe of Stockton, about 85 miles east of San Francisco.