Three boys were found stabbed to death inside a vehicle parked outside a South Los Angeles elementary school, while a man suspected to be their father was in critical condition, police said.
The brothers, ages 8 to 12, were found dead of multiple stab wounds in the back seat of an SUV, while a man in the front seat was alive but bleeding with stab wounds to his chest, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.
The man was in critical condition at a hospital, while the boys were pronounced dead. A knife was recovered at the scene.
Beck said detectives believe they have a suspect in custody, but he declined to be more specific about identifying the suspect.
"It is a sad day in LA," Beck said at a news conference, "These are horrific incidents. These are incidents that have scarred not only a community but the first responders that have to handle them."
A passer-by called police after spotting the man and children in the SUV shortly before the start of school across the street. The three boys did not attend the elementary school, Beck said, but they are enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Beck said the boys' mother is deceased and that their stepmother was safe and being interviewed by detectives.
The boys' deaths come as homicides are on the rise in Los Angeles.
In August, 39 killings drove a year-to-date uptick in murders in the nation's second-largest city, according to police statistics. The 39 killings in August are compared with 22 the previous month and 19 last August.
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