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2 elementary school-age children among 4 found dead in Ohio home, police say

The children and two adults were shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide, according to authorities. "This tragedy defies understanding," an official said.

Four people, including two elementary school-age children, were shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide in Ohio, authorities said Tuesday.

Officers responded to a home on English Turn about 1:20 p.m. for a welfare check, according to the Avon Lake Police Department. Authorities called for more backup after they "observed a suspicious condition" inside the house.

When officers entered the residence, they found the bodies of the children and two adults, police said. The names of the victims were not immediately released, but authorities said the Lorain County Coroner was notified.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting Avon Lake with the investigation.

In an email to NBC News Wednesday, Avon Lake City School District Superintendent Bob Scott confirmed the deaths of two students at Erieview Elementary School in Avon Lake, about 17 miles west of Cleveland.

"Our hearts are broken," Scott said in the email. "This tragedy defies understanding. We are all mourning the loss of this family and our students, but we are Avon Lake strong and we will work together to get through this terrible event."

In a letter to community members late Tuesday, Scott said the district was providing a team of guidance counselors and crisis response professionals to support teachers and students across all of its schools.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.