LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A father is under arrest after two of his children were killed and two hospitalized in what investigators term an "attack" at a home in Lancaster.
Prospero Serna, who lives in San Bernardino County, was initially detained as a person of interest as Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives investigated the violent scene Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Now, the sheriff's department says enough evidence has been collected to place Serna under arrest for murder and child abuse. They added that he was not cooperating with deputies, resulting in a delay in his booking process.
The night that the department responded, video from the scene showed a physical struggle to detain him, requiring the effort of several deputies to pin him to the ground and place him in custody.
The investigation began Saturday just before midnight when the mother of the children called 911 for help because her children were being harmed.
When deputies showed up they found four children in one bedroom all with serious injuries.
The victims, all under the age of 10, were transported to a hospital, authorities said. Two of them were pronounced dead at the facility, and the other two were listed in stable condition with injuries that were not life-threatening.
"We don't know where exactly the attack occurred, but they were all found in one bedroom," Lt. Daniel Vizcarra with the Sheriff's Department said on Sunday.
"It's extremely difficult," he added. "This is traumatizing for everybody who's involved. All the deputies who responded, all the parties involved, the investigators, everyone."
The county Department of Children and Family Services declined to say if the family has been investigated for possible child abuse in the past, citing confidentiality laws.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger released this statement:
"Hearing news of a child abuse call involving four young children in Lancaster was heart-breaking. It's painful to hear two siblings were murdered and two others were hurt allegedly by their father. The County has made strides in bringing more social workers to serve the Antelope Valley and is investing in child abuse prevention programs that strengthen families. But the reality is that some families slip through the cracks and ultimately, children pay the price. I have a lot of unanswered questions and will continue tracking this case closely. This is still an ongoing criminal investigation, but I want to ensure our County's justice system works swiftly to ensure the perpetrator is held accountable and that the two remaining siblings receive the care and support they deserve."
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.