Six children were at home during a shooting spree that left a man and a woman dead and two others injured in Victoria's north-west.
Police said a 43-year-old man armed with a shotgun went to his ex-wife's home at Lloyd St in Kerang around 11.30pm on Saturday and shot her in the neck and hand.
"The children were actually in the lounge room and heard a knock at the door, woke up the adults in the house and the husband went to the door ... and saw the shotgun straight away," Inspector Jamie Templeton said.
"There was a very short conversation which was along the lines of [the gunman] wanting him to come out of the house, and he's refused to come out of the home and the shots were fired."
Inspector Templeton said the 47-year-old husband was shot in the shoulder as he wrestled and disarmed the gunman.
"The six children were able to get away from the home, and the male inside the house had a struggle with the offender who turned up with the shotgun.
"With the assistance of a neighbour they were able to overpower him."
He then fled the scene before authorities arrived.
The gunman was the father of three of the children in the house, the injured man was the father of two others, while the sixth child was a friend stayingat the house for the night.
Police said the children, who range from three-14 years of age, were not nearby when the shots were fired.
They are now being cared for by family and friends.
The couple were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, and the woman, 41, was airlifted to hospital in Melbourne.Gunman, woman found dead at Murrabit West
As part of the investigation into the shooting, police visited a property at Murrabit West, about 30 kilometres away, where they discovered the body of the gunman in his car and a 41-year-old woman dead inside the house.
Both had gunshot wounds, but were not related to each other.
Inspector Templeton said they believed it was a murder-suicide.
"The whole situation was extremely nasty," he said.
"There's a number of people that are affected and it's a horrific crime scene and all the emergency services and other people involved, and of course families and friends and associates, there'll certainly be some ongoing support and welfare applied there."
Inspector Templeton said the man had taken a second gun with him to Murrabit West after being disarmed in Kerang.
He said investigators were not sure when the woman found dead inside the house had died.
There had been no reports of family violence prior to the incident, and the gunman had custody and visiting rights to his children.
He did not have a gun licence.
"We believe they've come from a family member who didn't know the firearms had been taken," Inspector Templeton said.
He said the scene was chaotic and police acted swiftly.
"In these remote or rural locations, to get the police all together takes a lot of work. We believe we acted as quickly as we could with the resources and information we had at the time."