Henderson Police spokesman Keith Paul said a man called 911 at 8:20 a.m. to report he had shot his wife and child and planned to shoot himself, the Las Vegas Sun reported. He told dispatchers he would shoot anyone who tried to stop him.
Moments later police arrived at a house on fire in the 1300 block of Esther Drive, where they saw a man with a handgun briefly step outside before going back inside. Police believe the man killed himself shortly thereafter.
Three bodies, including that of a "little boy," were removed from the home after firefighters extinguished the blaze, Paul said.
The home is owned by Lt. Hans P. Walters, records from the Clark County Assessor indicate.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie said the homeowner was a member of the police force for more than two decades.
"Anyone who has been involved in law enforcement for any amount of time is usually prepared for any scenario. No one, however, can prepare for something like this," Gillespie said.
"For the untold grief that will soon follow for family members, friends and co-workers close to this family, I can only say that our hearts go out to them in this very difficult time," he said. "We will stand by your side and move through this unspeakable grief and support you whatever way we can."
"You know, it's quiet here," neighbor Ted Kobacevich said. "We live here for a reason, and the reason is to avoid things like this."