(INSIDE EDITION)- A father fatally shot his two-year-old son before turning the gun on himself after holding the little boy hostage for 19 hours in his Georgia home, officials said.
Police responding to a 911 call of a domestic dispute at a home in Buford said they found Thy Ho, 43, holding his girlfriend and several others hostage about 10 p.m. Tuesday.
A 911 caller said the man inside, later identified as Ho, was threatening to shoot everyone and then commit suicide, authorities said.
After the Gwinnett County Police SWAT Team responded to the scene, Ho's girlfriend and others inside the home were allowed to leave, but Ho refused to release his two-year-old son, Philip Nguyen, to police.
He told his girlfriend: "I'd rather end his life than let you care for him without me," WSB-TV reported.
Ho went on to barricade himself and the tot inside the house's master bedroom and stayed there for 19 hours, cops said.
Officers were able to make contact with Ho by phone and by text in efforts to negotiate a peaceful resolution, but rushed inside when they heard a gunshot about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, officials said.
Ho shot himself when police rushed into the bedroom.
Philip was found shot and was rushed into a waiting helicopter that raced him to Children's Healthcare in Atlanta, but he could not be saved, authorities said.
Ho was brought to Gwinnett Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.
A motive for the murder-suicide was not immediately clear. Police reportedly had sporadic contact throughout the day with Ho, who was a registered sex offender, officials said.
Ho was convicted in 1999 for criminal confinement in Indiana, the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office said. He was released from prison in 2009 and briefly registered as a sex offender in Indiana.
Ho registered as a sex offender with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office in January 2010.
"These terrible events are a sobering reminder of the very real dangers of domestic violence," the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department wrote on their Facebook page. "Our thoughts and prayers are with little Phillip's family."
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