Mass shooting in California church leaves five dead

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Mass shootings are awful things. If I had my druthers, I’d never write about such a thing ever again. However, that would obviously be because such a thing would never happen again.

However, that’s not exactly a realistic hope.

Instead, we have debates and arguments over whether or not we should curtail our rights in an effort to combat such things. Meanwhile, we have yet another mass shooting in the most gun-controlled state in the nation.

A man shot and killed his three children and a fourth person before taking his own life on Monday in an outburst of gun violence that unfolded in a church near California’s capital, police said.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Rod Grassmann told reporters near the scene that investigators were seeking clues to a motive for the bloodshed but believed the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute.

“This was not a random shooting,” Grassmann said, adding that the gunman and his victims “knew each other.”

The shooting erupted at about 5 p.m. local time inside The Church in Sacramento, located in the Arden-Arcade community on the eastern edge of Sacramento’s city limits, Grassmann told reporters.

A church employee heard the first shot, followed by several more shots before fleeing the building and calling the police.

Sky News in the UK has a few more details about the shooter and the victims.

A man has shot dead his three daughters, their chaperone and himself at a church in California.

The girls were aged nine, 10 and 13. Their father was estranged from their mother and was taking them on a supervised visit.

It should also be noted that the chaperone was not the girls’ mother, who is alive and probably about as well as someone can be under the circumstances.

Of course, California Gov. Gavin Newsom couldn’t resist setting the stage for future political shots over this senseless tragedy.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said his office was working with local officials

“Another senseless act of gun violence in America – this time in our backyard. In a church with kids inside. Absolutely devastating,” Mr Newsom tweeted.

Of course, there’s still a lot we don’t know. We don’t know if the shooter was a prohibited person for some reason yet still had a gun–the supervised visitation suggests that might be possible, though not a guarantee–or anything else about him other than he was a 39-year-old man.

I have no doubt that in the coming days, we’ll get more information about this and about the shooter himself. In the meantime, we have a mass shooting that doesn’t follow the standard model of random violence.

All I can say definitively right now is that I cannot comprehend how someone could kill their own children. I love my kids with all my heart and one thing I simply cannot handle is imagining them not being in the world. To say that an act like this boggles my mind is an understatement.

This is made all the worse by having a daughter in the same age range as the victims.

To say this is awful is yet another understatement.