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Boy held after parents shot dead

A 12-year-old US boy who reported shots being fired at his home is in custody after officers arrived to find his parents dead and two of his siblings in a critical condition.

The boy called police on Tuesday evening to report at least three people had been shot at his eastern Colorado home, Steve Johnson of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said.

When officers arrived, they found the bodies of Charles Long, 50, and his wife Marilyn Long, 51. Two of their children were wounded - a five-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy.

It was unclear whether the 12-year-old suffered any injuries.

Investigators have referred the case to prosecutors for the possible filing of charges and Mr Johnson said there are no other suspects.

Less than 24 hours after the shootings, friends gathered for a vigil on the pavement in front of the family's house.

They said the Long children were home-schooled and the family was deeply religious, attending one neighbourhood church on Saturdays and another on Sundays.

At the nearby Evangelical Free Church, which the family attended, Pastor Ron Lee told more than 100 people at a prayer service that the gathering was meant as an opportunity for prayer and encouragement while members grieve.

"Most of it is confusion," he said. "I don't understand exactly what's gone on or why. Some of the reports that have come out, I'm not sure I even believe it."

Pastor Lee said the injured children were Sarah, five, and Ethan, nine. Greg James, an elder at the church, said he visited the family at hospital and told the congregation that they are hopeful the children will recover.

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