Police arrested a man after they discovered a gruesome scene at an apartment in Lancaster, California.
The incident unfolded just after midnight on Saturday at an apartment complex after a mother called police to report that her children were being abused. She said the father of her four children had locked her out of the home.
“The call stated children were being harmed at the location,” read a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Upon arrival, deputies contacted a female adult and conducted a check of the location. Deputies found four children under the age of 10 suffering from lacerations,” the statement continued.
All four children were transported to a hospital where two were pronounced dead. Two others suffered from non-life threatening injuries but were in stable condition.
“We don’t know where exactly the attack occurred, but they were all found in one bedroom,” said Lt. Daniel Vizcarra of the Sheriff’s Department.
Police were able to detain the biological father of all four children, who was identified as Prospero Serna of San Bernardino County.
News video from the scene showed two deputies struggling to wrestle Serna to the ground before other deputies arrived to help them. KTLA-TV reported that he was covered in blood at the time.
“Prospero Serna, the father of the children, was initially detained as a person of interest in the case,” police said in a statement. “Homicide detectives determined there was sufficient evidence to arrest Prospero Serna for the crimes of murder and child abuse.”
Officials declined to say whether they had investigated the family for child abuse previously.
“It’s extremely difficult,” Vizcarra continued. “This is traumatizing for everybody who’s involved. All the deputies who responded, all the parties involved, the investigators, everyone.”
Lancaster is a city of 170,000 people about 80 miles north of Los Angeles in the Mojave Desert.
Here’s a local news report about the arrest:
Father detained after 2 children killed, 2 others hospitlalizedwww.youtube.com
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