A man who scrawled "Jesus take them all to heaven" on the wall of his home killed his four young children, his estranged wife and her mother yesterday and critically wounded his wife's boyfriend, police said.

Police arrested King Bell, 33, as he came out of the house where one of the women was shot. He still had a shotgun in his hands when police rushed to the scene after a caller reported gunshots on the street near a house not far from downtown.

The bodies of Bertha Bell and her mother were found a short distance apart, one in the house and the other in a nearby parking lot.

Capt. Tim Foley said someone at the scene told police Mrs. Bell had children. Officers rushed to the home, kicked in the door, and found the bodies of the children beneath a blanket, lined up on a bed in the basement.

The words "Jesus take them all to heaven" were scrawled in chalk on the basement wall near a sign that said: "The family that prays together stays together."

Police said the dead children were 1, 2, 5 and 6 years old.

Foley said police believed Bell committed the murders because his wife left him about two months ago.