A father who had been served a restraining order by his ex shot his eight-year-old daughter before turning the gun on himself.
Donovan Halstead, 50, took his terrified daughter hostage at his home in Modesto, in the US state of California on 12th July.
The police surrounded the home after a report about a suicidal person and spotted Halstead inside the home with a gun.
Negotiators tried to persuade Halstead – who owned four rifles and two pistols – to hand over his daughter but, they said, he shot her before shooting himself.
Police say the critically wounded girl was found still alive with a single gunshot but died soon after.
Halstead died two days later in hospital, according to local media.
The shootings happened just hours after the girl’s mother, who has not been named, obtained a restraining order against Halstead.
She had also reportedly filed for divorce in April, saying that Halstead had been verbally and physically abusive.
Local media told how the mother moved out of the family home while Halstead and their daughter were visiting relatives in Montanna for the 4th July holiday.
While he was there, Halstead tracked his wife’s departure on home CCTV cameras and immediately drive back to California.
According to the Modesto Bee newspaper, he kept texting his wife during the drive home.
The mother reportedly wrote in the petition, “Our daughter was hysterically crying in the vehicle as Halstead called me names, telling me I am ruining his life and our daughter’s life.”
The mother stopped answering Halstead’s calls, and in one chilling text he said: “This is on your hands.”
Newsflash obtained a statement from the Modesto Police Department dated 12th July, saying: “Officers were dispatched to the 3700 Block of Havenhurst Court in response to a report of a suicidal subject.
“Upon arrival, officers saw the subject inside the home through a window, armed with a firearm.
“Officers immediately attempted to communicate with him, and the subject stated he was going to come out unarmed.
“However, before he did so, officers heard gunshots from inside the home.
“After hearing the gunshots, officers entered the residence and located the subject, 50-year-old Donovan Halstead, suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Tragically, Halstead’s 8-year-old daughter was also found in the home, seriously injured from a gunshot wound. Despite life-saving measures, she sadly did not survive.”