updated 9/15/2008 6:15:04 PM ET 2008-09-15T22:15:04

An off-duty Chicago police officer on Monday shot and killed his young daughter and critically injured his young son before taking his own life, police said.

Chicago police said the shootings stemmed from a domestic dispute between the officer and his wife, but they would not elaborate. They would not release the name of the officer, saying only that he was 31 years old and had been with the department about four years.

Department spokeswoman Monique Bond said police responded to a "shots fired" call at the officer's home Monday morning. When they arrived, a woman outside told them children were inside and she'd heard shots.

SWAT officers rushed into the house, finding the dead officer and the two children, who were taken to a hospital. Bond said all appeared to have been shot with the same handgun.

The 12-year-old boy was in critical condition Monday at Mount Sinai Hospital. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said the girl who died was 7, while police gave her age as 8.

Police said the officer lived at the one-story brick house, but they did not know if the two children lived there.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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