Coast Guardsman kills wife, 7-year-old son before taking own life in Miami: Officials

PHOTO: Investigators work at the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting.PlayWPLG
WATCH Coast Guardsman kills wife, son before taking own life: Officials

An 8-year-old girl is fighting for her life after her father allegedly shot her and killed her mother, her little brother and himself in an explosion of domestic violence at their Miami home, police said.

Petty Officer 1st Class John Presnar, 44, allegedly opened fire on his family after getting into an argument with his 39-year-old wife early Sunday, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Presnar's mother-in-law witnessed part of the incident before running out of the house to seek help when Presnar pulled a gun, police said.

PHOTO: U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle crewman Petty Officer 1st Class John Presnar handles a line while adjusting sails aboard the Eagle Sept. 17, 2012. U.S. Coast Guard, FILE
U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle crewman Petty Officer 1st Class John Presnar handles a line while adjusting sails aboard the Eagle Sept. 17, 2012.

"According to investigators, [Presnar} and his wife were involved in a domestic dispute that escalated into a shooting," police said in a statement. "When [Presnar} started shooting, his wife told her mother to run out of the house and call for help."

The shooting happened about 12:41 a.m. Sunday at the family's home in Miami, police said.

After killing his wife, Gretchen Presner, the Coast Guardsman allegedly shot his 7-year-old son to death, police said.

When officers arrived at the home, they found Presnar's 8-year-old daughter suffering from a gunshot wound but still alive, officials said.

PHOTO: Police cordon off the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting. WPLG
Police cordon off the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting.

The girl was taken by helicopter to Nicklaus Children's Hospital, where she was in critical condition, police said.

Police did not immediately say what the couple was arguing about.

PHOTO: Investigators work at the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting. WPLG
Investigators work at the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting.

John Presnar joined the Coast Guard in 2001 and served as an electronics technician, Lt. Cmdr. Ryan Kelley told ABC affiliate station WPLG-TV in Miami.

PHOTO: A body is removed from the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting. WPLG
A body is removed from the scene in Miami-Dade County where a Coast Guard serviceman allegedly shot and killed his wife and son before killing himself, Dec. 16, 2018. His 8-year-old daughter was also critically wounded in the shooting.

"The Coast Guard is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family members of those who where killed," Kelley said. "We continue to pray and offer the full support of the Coast Guard to the young child fighting for her life."