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Los Angeles police stood by their actions Sunday after a 7-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother were killed by their father, who also wounded their mother and killed himself -- after officers had been called to their Silver Lake home.
Ashley and Andres Iraheta, along with their father, Jorge Cruz Iraheta, 31, were found shot to death Friday night when officers were called to the home a second time, police said.
The children's mother, Marta Iraheta, 35, was found wounded in the leg. She was in serious condition at a hospital but is expected to survive.
Iraheta was separated from his wife and under a restraining order when he went to her home in the 4200 block of Normal Avenue Friday night, said Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Julianne Sohn.
Police were called to the home at 8:55 p.m. Friday by Marta Iraheta, who said her husband had shown up and was being aggressive, Sohn said.
Police did not find Iraheta, but after they left, he returned and opened fire on his children, wife, and then himself, police said.
"They were responding to a radio call of a domestic violence incident with a restraining order violation," Sohn told KCAL9. "When officers arrived on the scene there they actually tried to see if the suspect was there and he was not."
"The officers were very diligent in their search," said Officer Sam Park.
Neighbors complained that an officer should have stayed near the house to protect the family, but Park told KCAL that the officers followed protocol.
"Our officers don't separate, whenever they do any sort of investigation or searches they're always together," Park said.
He said standard procedure is for officers to "lock the house and we make sure they don't, you know, open the door for the person or anyone else, and then we start looking for the individual."
About 50 minutes after officers left to search for Iraheta at another address, police began receiving calls about shots being fired and people screaming at the residence, prompting officers to return to the home, said Los Angeles police Capt. Paul Hernandez III.
"He shot his two children, and he also shot his wife, and then he shot himself," Sohn said.
Neighbors said the family had recently rented a home in the neighborhood, and that they were shocked by the violence.
"That broke my heart, everybody's heart," neighbor Carmen Barnay said. "Last night I (couldn't) sleep because my heart is painful about this. I feel bad for the children -- especially for the children. "

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Sidebar Video

I responded to this one. It was a horrible situation and another tragic example of man's inhumanity to man or in this case, child. This guy shot his own children multiple times, makes you wonder how a person could do that.

The guys who actually went in and cleared the house had a hard time seeing the kids like that but finished the mission anyway. It's too bad the shooter (dad) did himself and didn't let one of us do it for him.

The video shows some of the scene. If you look hard, you'll see me!
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