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Father who shot his children, chaperone at California church had violent past

David Mora, 39, was arrested five days before the shooting and accused of injuring an officer during an arrest after he was suspected drunken driving.
Ana DeJesus, right, places a teddy bear as Vera Cruz, center, waits to leave flowers and balloons Tuesday at a memorial at The Church in Sacramento, Calif.Rich Pedroncelli / AP

The man who authorities say shot his three children and their chaperone before he killed himself at a Sacramento, California, church Monday had been arrested five days previously and accused of battering a police officer.

David Mora, 39, was arrested Feb. 23 on suspicion of drunken driving in Los Banos, Merced County Sheriff’s Deputy Daryl Allen said. He said Mora ended up in jail based on additional charges of resisting arrest and battery on law enforcement after an attack on a California Highway Patrol officer.

Mora spent a night in jail before he posted bail, Allen said. The arrest was first reported by the Merced Sun-Star.

Mora was under a domestic violence restraining order, requested by the children's mother last year, that specified that he could not have guns and had to undergo 16 sessions of anger management counseling.

Under the order, which had been set to expire in 2026 but could have been modified if he completed anger management, Mora was allowed to have four-hour visits with his children under the supervision of a man identified as Nathaniel, said to be a friend of the children’s mother.

Police indicated that a chaperone was also fatally shot at the church Monday. On Tuesday, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the deceased, including Mora and Nathaniel Kong, 59.

The children were identified as Samarah Mora Gutierrez, 9; Samantha Mora Gutierrez, 10; and Samia Mora Gutierrez, 13.

The Natomas Unified School District in Sacramento sent a message to parents Monday saying the three children were students at its schools and that emotional support teams and counselors would be available for grief counseling.

"There are very few words that can give comfort right now for this unspeakable tragedy," the message said.

The location of the violence, The Church of Sacramento in the community of Arden Arcade, just outside the eastern boundary of the city, appeared to have taken down its website Tuesday.

The church did not respond to requests for comment.

The shootings were reported shortly after 5 p.m. Monday, Sacramento County sheriff's officials said. They remain under investigation.