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Officials: U.S. Airman shoots toddlers, their mother before killing himself

SPANAWAY, Wash. - Authorities say a member of the U.S. Air Force in Washington state fatally shot his two young children and their mother before killing himself.

The Pierce County Sheriff's office said early Tuesday that they found the bodies inside a home near Spanaway, about 45 miles south of Seattle, after the man called 911 reporting that he killed his family.  

The victims have not been identified but the sheriff's office said the children --a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy-- were shot while they were sleeping and their 33-year-old mother was also shot in bed.

The sheriff's office said the 29-year-old man was stationed at nearby Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer told KOMO that investigators have learned the father had been upset and had a past incident in which he mentioned suicide. Troyer also stated family members say the couple may have had a divorce proceeding about to start.

"We have not been to this house before and there's no history of domestic violence," Troyer said.

Daine Patton, who sold the home a year ago to the family, said in an interview that it was a "tragic" situation.

"It really breaks my heart for those be killed by their father. That's horrible," Patton said.

Authorities, including U.S. Air Force personnel from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, continue to investigate.

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