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Estranged Husband Kills Wife, Kids

November 10, 2002

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YUBA CITY, Calif. (AP) _ A man apparently distraught over the breakup of his marriage fatally shot his wife and three young sons early Saturday, then killed himself, police said. The couple’s two daughters escaped.

Two of the boys were 9-year-old twins and the other was 6. All three boys and their mother and father were shot in the head with a handgun, police Lt. Bill Ollar said.

Officers responding to a domestic disturbance call found two adults fleeing from the front of the house and two young girls running out the back door, Ollar said.

Inside, he said, they found the 26-year-old woman and two of her boys dead. Another boy and the father died shortly afterward, Ollar said.

``We believe basically it’s a murder-suicide,″ Ollar said.

The woman and her daughters had moved into the small house, rented by her sister’s family, a few months earlier, Ollar said.

``We believe they were in the process of getting a divorce and that he had recently arrived at the house from Yuma, Ariz., with the three boys,″ Ollar said.

There was no sign of a break-in or struggle and police believe the father and three sons had spent the night at the house, Ollar said.

The children who fled out the back door were the couple’s daughters, ages 10 and 2, police said.

Officers also found a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy, children of the renters of the house, asleep in separate rooms. The 10-year-old girl apparently made a barricade of a laundry basket and an ironing board to shield one those boys, whose parents had run out the front door, police said.

Yuba City is located about 40 miles north of Sacramento.

The victims’ identities were not released.

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