A couple were found shot to death in their Jamul home Wednesday after their distraught 7-year-old son told a passing jogger: "My family is dead inside my house."
The couple's 3-year-old son was wounded in the head, authorities said.
The older boy awoke to discover the bodies of his parents, and his brother suffering from a gunshot wound, said Sgt. Glen Revell of the Sheriff's Department.
The boy then went to the front of the secluded home in the 3500 block of Steele Canyon Road, where he told the jogger about the deaths, Revell said.
Deputies arrived at the house about 8 a.m. in response to a 911 call and found paramedics already on the scene treating the boys, Revell said.
Authorities declined to reveal the names of the couple or their children.
The boys were flown by Life Flight helicopter to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment and were later transferred to Children's Hospital. Mark Morelli, a spokesman for Children's Hospital, said the younger boy had a significant flesh wound but that the bullet did not penetrate his skull. The boy was conscious and alert, and listed in fair condition, Morelli said.
The 7-year-old, whom deputies said suffered traumatic shock, received counseling at Children's Hospital, Morelli said, adding that the boy was later released from the hospital.
Investigators, who released few details about the deaths, were at the residence into the night, combing the yard and house for evidence.
As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, the bodies of the couple remained in the house. The county medical examiner's office had yet to be called to the scene.
A neighbor across the street said his daughter noticed that the gate to the house where the shootings occurred was uncharacteristically standing open when she left for school about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.
The dead man, according to his brother, was a 52-year-old, unemployed construction worker, Revell said. The dead woman was thought to be in her 30s, Revell added.
Neighbors described the father as a generous and helpful man, but they said he and his family were quiet and kept to themselves inside the fenced and gated 1-acre home site where they had lived for five years.
The house is surrounded by high trees, thick shrubbery and a small orange grove, making it difficult to see from the street.
In the back of the house are two junked cars, another auto under a canvas cover, a school-bus-size motor home and a large television satellite dish.
"Recluse was a good word for the husband," said a next-door neighbor who asked not to be identified. "You can pound that word into the ground with him."
Yet, the father was very willing recently to help a neighbor build a horse corral. When the neighbor stopped by the family's home later to express his thanks with a bottle of wine, the father declined, saying he didn't drink, and that it was unnecessary to pay him back.
"He was very helpful, real neighborly . . . but very private," the neighbor said.
Those who reside on Steele Canyon Road said they saw even less of the wife than her husband. They said she stayed close to home, taking care of her two boys.
The couple were sometimes seen at their older son's Little League games, neighbors said, but even there they stood off by themselves on a ridge overlooking the baseball field.
Neighbors said they were curious about the lengths the couple took to secure their home. "This is not what you would call a high-crime area," said one neighbor who has lived on Steele Canyon Road for 17 years.
"As far as protection goes, they have more than most people around here," said another neighbor while looking at the house's electronically activated gate and 6-foot-tall fence with iron bars.