police tape
A 21-year-old shot and killed his mother's abusive boyfriend Tuesday night in Queens, New York. In this representational photo, crime scene tape is stretched around the front of a home where a man was shot in Chicago, Illinois, May 28, 2017. Getty Images

A family of four, including an 11-year-old boy, was found dead following an apparent murder-suicide shooting that appeared to have been committed by a father in a Santa Clarita, California, home Friday morning, Los Angeles County authorities said.

The bodies were discovered shortly before 7 a.m. EST on Friday in the 28800 block of Startree Lane in a home daycare center, which was not conducting normal activities due to the holidays.

The four victims were identified by friends as 51-year-old Michael Birnkrant, his 47-year-old wife, Amy, and their two children — daughter Drew who was in her early 20s and an 11-year-old son. Several photographs posted on daughter Drew Birnkrant’s social media accounts showed her with her younger brother, friends confirmed to the authorities.

The shooting "appears to be a murder-suicide in which the husband shot and killed three individuals and then turned the gun on himself," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Rodney Moore said.

All were found shot in the chest in their Pacific Hills, Los Angeles County residence, and a gun was discovered near Michael's body, according to investigators.

The bodies were not all found in one room, but rather across different locations throughout the entire house, Moore said. It appeared that the killer went from room to room to murder his family members. The murders were discovered by the police in Santa Clarita at the family’s home on the morning of Jan. 5, 2018.

Sheriff's deputies said they responded to the scene of the murders in the 28800 block of Startree Lane at about 7 a.m. EST after friends of Amy requested a welfare check at the house on Friday after not seeing her for a few days.

It is still unclear how long the bodies were lying there or when exactly the killings took place, Moore said. The bodies were removed from the scene Friday night by the Los Angeles County coroner's office.

Moore said investigators have not been looking for any outstanding suspect and there was no indication of a break-in either. Officials have not yet determined a motive and are still investigating if there was any behind the slayings.

Neighbors and friends told the CW affiliate KTLA that Amy and the children were involved in the community and well-liked, but Michael was not as much.

"I broke down when I first saw which house it was and ever since then, I'm just in shock. I'm in shock," said one of the residents Sandy Barajas, ABC 7 News reported.

Amy was described as an avid runner who operated a daycare center named "Amy's Corner" from the home. No other children were present at the time of the killings at the daycare as it was closed, a law enforcement official confirmed.

The neighbors told officials that Michael drove for movie studios and reportedly did not speak with neighbors much.

"It’s devastating to know of anybody doing this, let alone a neighbor," Barajas, who lives nearby, said. "Heartbreaking ... those children are gone. They're gone. That family, a family of four ... they're gone."

Anyone with more information has been encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. You may also call "Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS.