Police say the couple was involved in a domestic dispute prior to the shooting

By Christine Pelisek
December 17, 2018 05:31 PM
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U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen

A U.S. Coast Guard petty officer fatally shot his wife and 7-year-old son and critically injured his 8-year-old daughter at their Miami home before he turned the gun on himself, PEOPLE confirms.

Miami-Dade Police say John Stanley Presnar, a 44-year-old electronics technician First Class, and his wife were involved in a domestic dispute prior to the December 16 shooting.

“When the subject started shooting, his wife told her mother to run out of the house and call for help,” states a press release from the Miami-Dade Police Department obtained by PEOPLE. “Once uniformed officers arrived, they entered the home and discovered the wife and their seven-year-old son deceased from apparent gunfire.”

Presnar was also found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The couple’s daughter had also been shot. She was transported to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in critical condition, Miami-Dade Police department detective Chris Thomas tells PEOPLE.

“It is definitely disturbing,” says Thomas. “It is traumatic.”

Police have not identified Presnar’s wife but the Miami Herald identified her as 39-year-old Gretchen Presnar. The couple’s children have also not been identified.

The shooting occurred at 12:41 a.m. Sunday.

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Thomas says he didn’t know if there had been prior disturbance calls to the residence but none of the neighbors reported any issues.

“All the neighbors said they never experienced issues with them,” he says.

Presnar had served with the Coast Guard since March of 2001 and was assigned to the Miami Beach Coast Guard base, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family members of those who were killed,” states a press statement from the U.S. Coast Guard obtained by PEOPLE.” We continue to pray for and offer the full support of the Coast Guard to the young child fighting for her life. The Miami Dade Police department has the full cooperation of the Coast Guard as they investigate this incident.”