A man who was recently fired from his job at a hospital killed his wife and five kids before committing suicide, police believe.
The gruesome incident occurred in the Los Angeles suburb of Wilmington and was the third mass family murder in the region in recent months.
Police said that the suspect had faxed a suicide note to them and a local TV station in which he said that he and his wife had both been fired from their jobs as medical technicians and could no longer support the five children.
"Why leave the children to a stranger?" the man wrote, according to KABC-TV, which received a copy of the note.
"He was despondent, clearly, over his job situation," said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner.
Though the note indicated that both parents were complicit in the infanticide, police said that the mother had also been murdered.
"It is apparent that the suspect in the murder is the male adult," Los Angeles police Lieutenant John Romero said.
Officers discovered the bodies of a man, woman, eight-year-old girl, two five-year-old twin girls and two two-year-old twin boys in the two-storey family home around 8.30 am on Tuesday, shortly after the suspect had called to alert police.
Garner said the bodies of the father and three girls were found in an upstairs bedroom at the front of the home. The bodies of the twin boys and wife were found in a back bedroom, Garner said.
"When officers entered, they smelled gunshot residue. We're operating off the premise it happened within minutes before officers got in Los Angeles."
The shooting followed a horrific Christmas Eve killing, in which a recently divorced man dressed up as Santa Claus and attacked participants at a family party killing his ex-wife and eight of her relatives. He later killed himself.
In October, an unemployed man had killed his wife, three children and mother-in-law before killing himself.