Authorities in Greenwood, S.C., are investigating what they said appeared to be a domestic dispute that turned violent Tuesday night, leaving four adults and two children dead.
"It's just a situation that takes your heart," Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis told reporters at the scene, according to video broadcast on several local stations.
"It's sad, it's horrific," said the sheriff, who said he has never seen so many victims at one crime scene in his 40 years of law enforcement. "Your heart has to go out to all of the family members and everyone involved in some point, not in a law enforcement capacity, but in some point or another we know all these individuals."
The incident began shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday in a home off of Callison Highway, officials said. The apparent shooter, who has not been named, reportedly called 911 to say he was planning on hurting himself, but hung up.
The person also released several children who were living nearby and were visiting the children who lived at the home where the shootings took place. At least two children returned to their home and a parent also called authorities, reporting shots had been fired.
A police SWAT team responded and when there was no movement, authorities eventually entered the home where they found four adults, including the shooter, and two children about 10 years old, all dead.
A South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division forensic team will investigate the site while the coroner determines the exact causes of death.
Greenwood is about 80 miles west of the state capital of Columbia.