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A California man killed his three daughters and a family visit chaperone in a church before turning the gun on himself, police say.
David Mora-Rojas, 39, was identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office as the man police say fatally shot four people in a Sacramento County church before taking his own life Monday, according to NBC affiliate KCRA News. The victims included Rojas’s three daughters and Nathaniel Kong, 59, who was assigned to supervise the monitored visit between Rojas and his children.
The children were identified as 13-year-old Samia Mora Gutierrez, 10-year-old Samantha Mora Gutierrez, 9-year-old Samarah Mora Gutierrez.
Rojas allegedly lived at The Church of Sacramento, where the shooting occurred as “some sort of an arrangement,” Sacramento County Sgt. Rod Grassmann told CBS News.
The sheriff’s office received a call at around 5:07 p.m. from an employee inside the church who heard the shots from upstairs, according to their news release. They found Rojas dead on the scene after he turned the gun on himself.
As news continues to develop around the shooting, details of Rojas’s past provide a grim picture of a man with a violent history rife with domestic incidents. Rojas was the subject of an active restraining order, which legally prohibited him from being in possession of a firearm, according to ABC 7 News.
Just days before the murder-suicide, Rojas was arrested on Feb. 23 on suspicion of drunken driving, according to NBC News. Rojas was also charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a California Highway Patrol officer. According to ABC 7, Rojas was out on bail at the time of the murders.
According to those who knew Rojas, he was a man battling mental illness and drug abuse.
“He was an emotional man,” his friend Oscar Maldonado told CBS Sacramento. “Like really emotional.”
Court documents show that the mother of the three murdered children, Rojas’s estranged girlfriend, had filed for a restraining order against Rojas last year, according to NBC News. As per the order, Rojas was prohibited from having guns and ordered to attend 16 sessions of anger management. Rojas was permitted to have four-hour visits with the children at the church under the supervision of Nathaniel Kong, who was a friend of the children’s mother.
In her application for the restraining order, the woman claimed Rojas “is a very jealous person,” according to ABC 7. She claimed he was afraid to return home because she was “scared and nervous” that Rojas would harm her.
She claimed Rojas has been hospitalized in the past for suicidal ideations and had threatened to kill her but hadn’t “because he would not know what to do with the children,” according to CBS News.
“He loved his daughters, but I think that love was too much that he didn’t want to share that love,” continued Maldonado. “In his head, it makes sense. In ours, it doesn’t make sense because we wouldn’t even think of that, but that was the thought process, I think.”
Diedra Powell, the executive director of communications and family engagement of the Natomas Unified School District, sent a statement to Oxygen.com about the girls’ deaths.
“It is with deep sadness that we share with you the news of the tragic deaths of three Natomas Unified School District students,” she stated. “There are very few words that can give comfort right now for this unspeakable tragedy.”
According to the statement, the girls attended Bannon Creek and Leroy Greene Academy, where a social-emotional support team and chaplains from the Sacramento Police Department have been made available to students and others in the community.
Samia, Samantha, and Samarah were described as sisters who were “loved endlessly by everyone who surrounded them,” according to their aunt, Jovana Venegas, who organized a GoFundMe page to assist with funeral expenses.
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