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A man shot his estranged wife and two of their children to death Friday in their front yard, then fled with his 1-year-old son, shot and wounded the boy and killed himself, authorities said.

The first shootings occurred across the street from the elementary school where the oldest child attended kindergarten.

Carl Swanson had been talking with his estranged wife, Donna, 25, outside their home when he fatally shot her and their children, Tabatha, 6, and James, 3, said Michael Hogan, Edmunds County state's attorney.

Swanson's body and his wounded son, Joel, were found in Swanson's car about three miles south of this farming community that is about 230 miles northwest of Sioux Falls, police said.

Joel was listed in critical condition in a Minneapolis hospital.

The couple, who did not live together, were divorcing, Hogan said.

Mary Jo Mohr of Hosmer said she had been told that the woman had moved to Hosmer to get away from her husband because she was afraid of him.

"She just moved to town maybe two months ago," she said.

Pat Hollan, principal at the elementary school, said Tabatha had enrolled in kindergarten about a month before. She was not in class Friday because kindergarten meets only every other day.

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