Police: Kansas Father Killed 3 Children in Fire, Shot Self

Authorities say a man in a small northeast Kansas town killed his three children, set their home on fire and shot himself.

Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn says 52-year-old Michael L. Shirley committed suicide Monday after setting his Scranton home ablaze. Also dead are 14-year-old Ethan C. Shirley, 11-year-old Ashten C. Shirley, and 9-year-old Caleb Jackson Shirley.

Authorities already had ruled the fire was arson.

Michael Shirley's wife and the children's mother, Amy Shirley, was not home at the time. Dunn said she is living with family members in another town. Her date of birth was not released.

Dunn said authorities are still investigating the motive. She said the fire was confined to the living room.

The deaths shocked the small town of about 725 residents, about 20 miles south of Topeka.