HOUSTON (AP) — A sheriff says three people are dead, including two children, in an apparent murder-suicide in the Houston area.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says the children had been in the care of their grandmother Thursday but that she stepped away for an errand. He says the boy and a girl, aged between 7 and 12 years old, were gone when she returned.

Gonzalez says the children were taken to another residence and fatally shot.

The man suspected of abducting the children then shot himself. Gonzalez says the man, who hasn't been identified, is the father of one of the children. He says the children shared the same mother.

Gonzalez says it's "a dark day in Harris County" as authorities contend with another episode of family violence.

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