(AP Photo/Des Moines Police Dept.)
Nath Inthaboun, 32, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder after a two-hour standoff with police Thursday morning. The children, ages 1, 3 and 5, were not seriously hurt and were staying with relatives.
Inthaboun was being held in the Polk County Jail. Information about a court date and when an attorney would be named wasn't immediately available.
Sgt. Vince Valdez, a Des Moines police spokesman, gave the following account:
Just before 6 a.m. and after an all-night argument, Inthaboun shot his common law wife, Bounpamh Xayavogchanh, 32, in the street in front of their Des Moines home.
A motorist who lives nearby, Amalia Vasquez, witnessed the shooting and saw Inthaboun walking away. Vasquez, 60, stopped to see what was going on and told Inthaboun to stop. He walked over to Vasquez's car and fired a shot at her.
Vasquez managed to speed off, then crashed into a utility pole about a block away. Investigators believe she died of a gunshot wound.
Neighbors called 911. When officers arrived, one of Inthaboun's relatives emerged from his house and told officers he was inside with the children.
Police surrounded the home and began trying to coax Inthaboun out. Negotiations deteriorated and at about 8:15 a.m. officers fired an explosive device into the house.
Five officers rushed in, but had to take cover when Inthaboun fired shots at them. The officers didn't return fire, and when the shooting stopped, they ran upstairs and found Inthaboun seemingly unconscious on the floor.
Officers found the three children in an upstairs room. One was treated for a burn to a heel.
Officers initially thought Inthaboun had killed himself, and he was rushed to a Des Moines hospital. Doctors found him in good health and think he lost consciousness after becoming overwhelmed by the situation.