Police said the father, identified as 43-year-old Joseph Jacobo, shot the mother twice - once in the arm and once in the face - through a door after the woman locked herself and two daughters in a room.
Despite her injuries, the mother grabbed her two children, ages 5 and 9, and escaped through a window. When police arrived, they found the mother and her two kids standing outside the home. Neighbor Martha De La Torre said she saw the mother covered in blood, with her two little girls crying and holding on to her.
Police said it was a miracle she survived.
"She was bleeding and probably in considerable pain but her will survive and to get her kids out of that situation kicked in," said Orange police Sgt. Dan Adams.
The children were unharmed. All three were transported to a local hospital.
The suspect refused to surrender to police and barricaded himself inside the home. Police evacuated the neighborhood as a precaution overnight.
The SWAT team was called in, and despite attempts to lure Jacobo out, he refused to give up and ultimately took his own life early Monday morning.
"We attempted to make contact inside the residence, believing that he was still inside, made phone calls, made all sorts of attempts to no avail," said Orange police Sgt. Dan Adams.
Adams said the SWAT team made entry at about 3 a.m. to find Jacobo dead from a single gunshot wound. The death has been ruled a suicide.
Residents were allowed back into their homes just after 3 a.m. when the standoff ended. Neighbors were stunned to hear about the incident.
"They were just real nice, a small family with two kids and just very friendly," said neighbor Edward Hill. "There was just no indication that there was any problems. They were just a very nice family. It's very surprising that something like this happened."
The two young girls were staying with relatives while their mom was recovering at a local trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries.