Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:43 AM EDT2014-08-20 09:43:48 GMT
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GREENWOOD COUNTY, SC (WIS) -
Four children were able to escape a mass murder-suicide that left four adults and two children dead Tuesday evening in Greenwood County, according to law enforcement officials.
A man inside a home on Callison Highway called 911 shortly before 7 p.m., telling the dispatcher he was thinking about hurting himself. Responding officers first believed the call to be a hostage situation, but they ruled that out after deputies received no response from anyone inside the home.
The SWAT team eventually entered the home and discovered the bodies.
Investigators believe one of the people found inside was the shooter. As for the children, officials say they were both around 10 years old and they were related to someone inside the home.
Neighbors say the children lived in the home with their mother, her boyfriend, and the mom's parents. Sheriff's deputies have yet to release the names of any of the victims.
Authorities said the surviving children ran from the home when the shooting started and eventually made it to a neighbor's house.
"At some point were going to get together and try to piece this thing together from the bits and pieces of information we're gathering here," said Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis. "We think the suspect's relationship to the victim is boyfriend, girlfriend."
"It's a situation that just takes your heart," said Davis. "It's sad. It's horrific."
Neighbors were stunned to hear the news. "They seemed just like a happy family to me," said Rosetta Jennings. "The other day I passed by and saw the gentleman going to the mailbox, and he waved. My heart just goes out to the family that has to deal with this."
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is assisting with the investigation.