Two young children and a man were found shot to death Tuesday inside a home in San Diego's Allied Gardens neighborhood. A woman found in the house was hospitalized in critical condition.
Police said some victims were shot in the head, but refused to release further details about the shootings. A handgun was recovered at the home, but investigators would not say if the killing appeared to be a murder-suicide or if an intruder is being sought.
A spokeswoman at Sharp Memorial Hospital said the woman was in "very critical" condition with a gunshot wound to the head.
The shootings rocked the morning quiet on Crawford Street, where the victims--described by neighbors as mother, father, 6-month-old boy and 4-year-old girl--lived in a white stucco house built in the 1950s.
San Diego police spokesman Bill Robinson said police received a 911 call from the house shortly after 6 a.m., but the caller hung up without saying anything. Officers had to break in through a rear door "and found the gruesome scene," he said.
The victims' identities were withheld by authorities, pending notification of next of kin.
Neighbors said they were distressed and mystified by the deaths. Mark Keeney, who lives next door, said the victims "seemed like the perfect family." He said the man was a plumber who worked for a contractor, and his wife stayed home with the children.
Don Eaglin, 76, who has lived across the street from the crime scene for 32 years, said the 31-year-old male victim had lived in the house all his life. Eaglin, a San Diego police senior volunteer, said the man bought the home from his parents five years ago. The other victims were the man's wife and children "and they were very close to us," he said.
"We're at a loss to try to figure out what happened. They were happy," he said.
"It's very confusing. We don't know if somebody broke into the house and did this," Eaglin said. "There's been nothing in the past five years that said they weren't happy. They returned Sunday from a camping trip to the desert, happy and laughing. They were remodeling the house. Nothing makes sense."
Times staff photographer Don Bartletti contributed to this story.