Police: 3 dead in apparent murder-suicide; 4 children safe

Three adults are dead in an apparent murder-suicide and four children were rescued from the scene in Lakeland on Christmas Eve.

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Three adults were killed in an apparent murder-suicide on Christmas Eve while four young children were inside the home, authorities in Florida said.

The children were safely removed from the home after the shooting Tuesday night, Lakeland Police Capt. Ed Cain told reporters.

The three dead adults all suffered gunshot wounds.

Investigators said Leighton Josephs, 30, fired the shots at a man and woman, who weren't identified, inside the home, and then killed himself.

Josephs knew the man and woman, although investigators didn't describe how.

All four of the children are believed to be younger than 10 years old, Cain said.

“It's a very tragic situation on Christmas Eve that's going to impact a lot of families," Cain said.