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    Father, 2 children found dead at Surprise, Arizona home in apparent murder-suicide: Police

    By Taylor Ardrey and Abigail Celaya, USA TODAY,

    Pictured is a blurred police car in the background behind yellow crime scene tape. aijohn784, Getty Images/iStockphoto

    If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, dial 988 to reach someone with the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline . They're available 24 hours a day and provide services in multiple languages .

    A man and his two young children were found dead in their Arizona home in what police say was an apparent murder-suicide.

    On Monday afternoon, Surprise police officers responded to a local residence to conduct a wellness check on the father, identified as 34-year-old Brock Mater, and his two children, aged 6 and 7.

    Police said a woman called and reported she was going through a divorce, and her children were visiting their father, according to the Arizona Republic , part of USA TODAY Network. The woman told police she became concerned after her children's school called her about an unexcused absence.

    Surprise, Arizona crime: A baby is shot, a man dies and a fire breaks out: Details on Surprise, Arizona standoff

    The mother attempted to contact Mater several times

    She told police that she attempted to call her estranged husband multiple times, but she received no response.

    The mother went to Mater's residence and knocked multiple times without a response. According to Surprise police, she called the department after she saw his vehicle at the home.

    Police said when they arrived, officers attempted multiple knocks, announcements, and telephone calls but also did not get a response. When they entered to execute the welfare check, they discovered the children and Mater dead. The family had "gunshot wounds to the head," and officers found a rifle on Mater's lap.

    Police say Mater does not have a criminal past

    Mater was receiving mental health treatment at the time, police noted.

    “It is our understanding that while they were separated, he was going and actively seeking and actively receiving mental health treatment, and that treatment was going well,” Surprise Police Sgt. Rick Hernandez said at a press conference .

    Hernandez added that Mater does not have a criminal history, but officers responded to a mental health crisis and transported him for treatment last October.

    In a separate case, Surprise police say a 51-year-old man identified as Todd Christopher Marchetti broke into a residence , holding a woman and her 6-month-old baby hostage. The incident led to a stand-off between Marchetti and law enforcement.

    The standoff ceased after the house went on fire, and Marchetti was discovered to be dead with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The baby, who suffered several gunshot wounds, was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery. The victim had minor injuries.

    A Tuesday update on a GoFundMe created for the family said the infant "has since opened his eyes up, has been removed from breathing assistance, and was finally able to be held in his mother's arms for the first time yesterday."

    The fundraiser has garnered nearly $145,000 at the time of publication. It says that the "domestic violence incident" has left the victim with financial burden. The donations will help with housing, support services, and replacement for her belongings lost or damaged in the fire.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Father, 2 children found dead at Surprise, Arizona home in apparent murder-suicide: Police

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