A domestic dispute erupted into a shooting rampage that ended with a man killing his wife and two sons, authorities said Tuesday.

Kouei Wang Saetern, 47, was arrested and booked for investigation of murder after sheriff's deputies found him in the garage of his south Sacramento County home and the bodies of his family members in different parts of the house, Sgt. Tim Curran said.

Two young daughters and a nephew escaped harm when they ran to the nearby home of relatives.

The dispute between Saetern and his 48-year-old wife began in their bedroom late Monday, Curran said. Saetern grabbed a rifle and began firing when his sons, ages 19 and 22, tried to intervene, Curran said.

The couple's daughters, ages 7 and 12, along with Saetern's 13-year-old nephew, ran from the house when the argument began, Curran said. They told detectives they heard several gunshots as they ran, he said.

Saetern was being held without bail. It was not immediately known whether he has retained an attorney.

He was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Saetern had a 2007 conviction for methamphetamine possession, Curran said.