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Note: This story contains details about suicide. If you or someone you know may be struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time day or night, or chat online. Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.
Two children, their mother and father are dead after an apparent murder-suicide in Goodlettsville early Friday morning.
32-year-old James Travis Pitts shot and killed 32-year-old Barbara Pitts, 13-year-old MaKayla Kleinert and 6-year-old Riley Pitts, according to Nashville police.
At 6:21 a.m. James Pitts made a call to 911 and told dispatchers he had shot his wife and two young daughters.
Dispatchers worked to keep him on the phone and negotiate with him. An off-duty East Precinct MNPD sergeant who was on his way home and nearby went to the home, Nashville police spokesperson Brooke Reese said from the scene.
The officer was the first on the scene and attempted to talk with the man over a PA system in his patrol car to get him to surrender. The officer then heard a single gunshot inside the home at 6:38 a.m. and entered the house, according to Reese.
The officer found the man dead in the living room of the home with a gunshot wound, Reese said. He then discovered Riley Pitts dead with a gunshot wound in a bedroom. He then found Kleinert in a back bedroom and Barbara Pitts in the master bedroom. They were both still alive, according to Reese.
Kleinert was pronounced dead on arrival at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Barbara Pitts died later in surgery there, Reese said.
Police said they found a suicide note and Glock pistol inside the home.
The home is tucked into a hilly, wooded and largely residential area in Goodlettsville on the Davidson County line.
Ronnie Van Kleeck lives adjacent to the home and said he often heard gunshots outside the home, sometimes after dark, but that he never worried about there being any danger. He said the man seemed to have a nice disposition.
Van Kleeck said he's lived in his home for 22 years and that his neighbors had been there three or four years.
"It's very disturbing," he said.
Find reporter Rachel Wegner at email@example.com or on Twitter @rachelannwegner.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Goodlettsville murder-suicide: 2 children, parents dead, police say