Arizona man Anthony Milan Ross appeared to be a happy father celebrating Christmas Eve with his 11-year-old son.
The 45-year-old dad shared a video of the pair laughing their way through “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” on Facebook Sunday.
But his mood drastically changed hours later on Christmas Day, according to the New York Daily News.
Ross can be seen in the video saying:
“Hey guys, I’m smiling and I’m hanging out with Nigel on Christmas Eve. We’re about to embarrass ourselves! We’re going to sing.”
Hours later, the man was in a six-hour standoff with police, after he allegedly killed his ex-wife and their two kids at a Phoenix apartment complex.
ABC 15 in Phoenix reported that witnesses watched in horror as he shot and killed his ex-wife, Iris Ross, outside the home as she attempted to flee. Then they heard two or three more shots once he was back inside.
The father barricaded himself inside of the apartment with their 11-year-old son, Nigel, and 10-month-old daughter Anora.
According to ABC 15:
Officers soon began negotiations with the suspect as he barricaded himself inside his apartment, police said. After several hours, he began shooting at the officers.
After the shootout, police found both children dead inside the apartment.
Iris’s sister, Mary Wogas, told ABC 15 her ex-brother-in-law had a “very dark side.” She said he sent her two frightening texts the day the alleged murders took place:
“I received a text yesterday about 2:52 p.m. Two messages, first one saying ‘I just killed Iris and the kids’. The second message was ‘with a gun’.”
“The man was off his rocker. One minute he was yelling at her, calling her a “whore”, and the next minute wanting to tell her he loved her and wanted them to be a family unit.”
Ross, a motivational speaker, chef, and author, was well-known in the Phoenix area after he lost 300 pounds by going vegan, according to the Daily News.
His motivation: being told he couldn’t get on a ride at Universal Studios with his son, Nigel, when he weighed more than 500 pounds.
In a November interview with KPNX, Ross talked about how it convinced him to change his life. The words are chilling:
“[Nigel] started crying. It was at that moment I learned that the decisions I was making didn’t just affect me.”
Ross was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his children and ex-wife, as well as two counts of aggravated assault, 19 counts of aggravated assault against an officer, and one count for discharging a firearm in city limits.
Ross is being held without bond, with his next hearing set for Jan. 3.
Police are investigating the murders as a domestic violence incident.
Watch more about the tragic killings below, via ABC 15