• Three children were inside the home at the time of the incident
  • The 13-year-old escaped with the 4-year-old child
  • The 3-year-old was later rescued from the house by the police

In a murder-suicide incident in Massachusetts, a man fatally shot his partner before killing himself Tuesday night.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said three children were inside the house at the time of the incident.

"At the time those shots were fired, the 13-year-old in the house took the 4-year-old child, opened the window and escaped to safety," Early told local media. "The 13-year-old was pretty courageous. He took the 4-year-old in his arms, opened the window, ran out the window to a neighbor's house and that neighbor called 911."

Officers arrived at the home on Old Webster Road after they received two 911 calls from the residence, ABC-affiliated WCVB reported. Authorities said although it was the woman who first rung them up, a second call was made by the man, moments later. The identities of the man and the woman were not revealed.

When Oxford and Charlton Police reached the home, an officer ran inside and rescued a 3-year-old child.

"When they got to the house they found a woman deceased," Early said, adding the man, who the police believe was the shooter, was also found dead outside.

The woman had died of an apparent gunshot wound. One firearm was recovered by the police, Early said, WCVB reported.

Emergency medical personnel started life-saving measures on both, but could not save them. Early called the incident a "tragic case of domestic violence," according to NBC Boston.

Preliminary investigation revealed the couple, who were not married, had two children together. The third child was from a parent's previous marriage. The three children were in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services, and were receiving trauma-related services at the Oxford Police Department.

Neighbor Jeff Emco told NBC Boston he's only worried about the kids.

"I don't know how old the other ones are, if they'll comprehend what went on, but it's really sad," he said.

The police said both the man and the woman were licensed to carry firearms. Authorities are reviewing records to see if there had been any prior instances of concern at the home. An investigation is ongoing into the murder-suicide.

Crime scene
Representational image AFP / Johannes EISELE