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By Kathryn Robinson

A North Carolina man was drunk when he shot and killed his two sons, 3 and 4, and then tried to commit suicide early Sunday, police said.

The Iredell County Sheriff's Office said it got a call about 3:30 a.m. from Shawn Fuller's brother, saying Fuller was intoxicated and firing a weapon.

Sheriff Darren Campbell told NBC News that when deputies arrived at the Statesville home, Fuller was outside the front door suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Fuller was taken to Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte in critical condition.

Deputies found the young brothers after going into the home, where they lived with their mom and dad.

Campbell said Sunday afternoon detectives were still working the case.

"In a town with a population of 168,000, it's something we don't see," Campbell told NBC News.