A domestic altercation ended with a woman dead and four children with varying degrees of gunshot wounds in north Birmingham Wednesday night. “Once our officers got here, what we found was just really a chaotic situation,” said Birmingham Police Department spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards.

It happened inside a house in the 1400 block of 21st Street North. Edwards said officers arrived at about 10:15 p.m. and found a child in the front yard.

When they entered the house, they found a woman dead in the living room from what appeared to be gunshot wounds. Edwards said she was in her mid-30s.

Officers soon confirmed four children at the house also received gunshot wounds. Their ages are 5, 8, 11 and 12. All were taken to Children’s Hospital. Between all four, they had wounds in their hands, hips, chest and thighs.

Edwards said the 12-year-old girl’s injuries are life-threatening. The others are in stable condition.

Police quickly determined the woman’s boyfriend shot them all during some type of domestic situation. They block streets and brought in K-9 units to search after he fled on foot. He has not been found so far.

“Apparently there was some type of domestic situation going on between the both of them. He wanted to come in the house. Apparently they refused to let him in and for some reason I guess, he began to start shooting inside the residence,” Edwards said.

Police are not yet releasing his identity.

He said police have been to the house for domestic calls multiple times in the past.

“We’re just trying to piece together all the information of what led up to this. But the challenging part is when you have multiple victims that are children under the age of 13, and so right now it’s a very sensitive situation anytime you got kids involved. Everybody here’s just trying to process what was it that was so bad that led up to this situation,” he said.

The Department of Human Resources is being notified.

“Our number one priority is we really are concerned about the kids and their recovery,” said Edwards.