Why? Robert Hodges kills West Sacramento wife's three children

Three children were killed at this apartment complex in West Sacramento on Wednesday by their mother's husband

Three children were killed at this apartment complex in West Sacramento on Wednesday by their mother's husband

Police say three children were killed inside an apartment near Sacramento and that their mother's husband was arrested hours later.

Kinney said an initial 911 call reported a domestic violence incident at the apartment.

On the way to the apartment, identified as the Timbers Apartments on Touchstone Place, police received a second call, saying that the children in the apartment were possibly dead.

According to KCRA, emergency responders performed life-saving measures on the children, but all three were pronounced dead at the scene. The mother of the children is considered a domestic violence victim, according to the police.

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Police are actively searching for a male suspect.

While police have not released the ages or genders of Hodges' kids, the children's great-grandmother - Irene Aiello, of West Sacramento - told the Associated Press that he and his wife had an 11-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and another boy who was born in January. "I was watching my movies and I didn't hear nothing", she said. He said the mother was close by when the killings occurred but didn't witness them. "The officers are absolutely impacted, along with the firefighters, and certainly the family, the neighbors". In a small town, each of us, whether parents, neighbors, mentors, and just plain citizens, know that protecting our children is our most sacred duty, and the betrayal of that duty in the home is unfathomable and unconscionable. It's horrific, and it's very hard to deal with.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the mother of the children hysterical and begging them to go inside her apartment, reported The Sacramento Bee. [Their apartment is] so quiet.

"We are family, we are a community, we are a tribe", she said. "I was in my apartment all the time".

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Hundreds of people gathered at a vigil for the children Thursday night at an elementary school, leaving candles, stuffed animals and signed cards in their honor.

He reportedly fled the residence and was taken into custody without incident by California Highway Patrol officers in neighboring Sacramento. Grief counselors will be on hand.

Alina and Daniel Vertelnikov, who are friends of the victims, recalled how happy the kids seemed. "It just happened. It's so sad", Daniel said.

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