A father and his two children are dead in what Pinal County authorities are calling a murder-suicide in San Tan Valley.
Sheriff's Office spokesman Tim Gaffney says family members became concerned Tuesday when they were unable to reach members of the Gilbert Ramos family.
Family members used a key and entered the Ramos home and found 45-year-old Ramos and his wife Sandra with gunshot wounds. The family members left and called for help.
Deputies soon arrived and found the Ramos children in another area of the house with gunshot wounds.
Ramos and his children, 10-year-old Nicholas and 8-year-old Emma, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Ramos' wife was transported to the hospital in extremely critical condition.
Emma and Nicholas attended Mesa’s O’Connor Elementary School, where they both started as kindergarten students.
Nicholas was in the fifth grade and Emma was in third grade.
The teachers and staff at O’Connor shared the news with students Wednesday afternoon, said Mesa Unified School District spokeswoman Kathy Bareiss.
A note was sent home with students and counselors will be available on campus Thursday, she said.
“Nick was just elected by his class as the student council representative. He played trombone in the band,” she said. “Emma was a little girl who just loved to laugh at jokes, always had a twinkle in her eye and you never knew what she was thinking about or planning.”