The Los Angeles County District Attorney has filed murder charges against a Lancaster man who is accused of the unthinkable: killing his own children.

Prospero Serna, 38, faces two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault on a child under 8 years of age causing death and one count of child abuse, D.A. George Gascón announced on Wednesday.

The attack happened late Saturday night when deputies responded to a child abuse call at an apartment in the 1800 block of East Avenue J-2 in Lancaster.

There, deputies found several children suffering from “lacerations.” Two were pronounced dead at a hospital. Two other children, one of whom had sustained non-life-threatening injuries, were found hiding in the residence, prosecutors said.

  • Prospero Serna
  • Prospero Serna
  • 2 children found beaten to death, 2 others hospitalized in Lancaster

Serna was eventually chased down by deputies who tackled him and detained him in the street, news video showed. His face was bloodied and he could be heard shouting obscenities.   

“Two young lives were abruptly cut short in an astonishing act of brutality,” Gascón said. “This is a profoundly heart-wrenching tragedy that has shaken our community to its core. Our hearts ache for the innocent lives lost and those who will have to live the rest of their lives reliving a nightmare.

If convicted on the charges, Serna will face life in prison without parole.