Police: South Florida father kills 12-year-old daughter, 9-year-old son, then himself

(Courtesy: WSVN)

A South Florida man killed his 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son before fatally shooting himself during what police called a "domestic dispute."

The shooting happened around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday next to a lake at a residential community in Miami Lakes, police said.

The mother of the children was at the home when the shooting happened but was not injured, police told news outlets.

RELATED: Suspect in shooting during argument at Florida Publix charged with murder

Authorities identified the father as 41-year-old Humberto Tovar, and said the victims were his children, 12-year-old Valeria and 9-year-old Matias. Tovar and the children's mother were divorced, police told WSVN

According to investigators, Tovar had picked up the children earlier in the day, but when their mother hadn't heard from them, she went out in the community searching and found Tovar and her children by the lake.

(Courtesy: WSVN)

Nearby residents told the TV station they could hear the mother's screams and cries for help.

One neighbor who ran outside said the mother was trying to perform CPR on her young son.

"She had pulled the little girl’s body over towards her, like towards the boy and she was trying to do both at the same time," resident Magda Pena told WSVN. "She was like, ‘Please, don’t stop. They’re alive. They’re alive,’ but they were already all dead." 

RELATED: $10,000 reward offered 2 years after Plant City woman's mysterious disappearance

Pena said she then saw the gun next to the father’s body.

Miami-Dade police Chief Alfredo "Freddy" Ramirez tweeted about the "senseless" killings and offered condolences to the family.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 (Crisis Text Line).