ELKHART, Ind. - A woman and her four children were found safe last night at a motel in the same city where police said the children's father had shot a man and abducted them, authorities said. He was arrested as he tried to escape through a motel air duct.

Jerry D. White, 30, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and several counts of confinement, police said.

Authorities had issued an Amber Alert on Saturday for the four children, ages 16 months to 9 years, and their mother, Kimberly N. Walker, 31.

Police said White broke into the Elkhart house of Walker, his ex-girlfriend, about 2 a.m. Saturday and shot her sister's boyfriend, Lathie Turnage, 30, who was still hospitalized yesterday. White then held everyone captive until he left with Walker and the children nearly 10 hours later, police said.

Investigators were able to trace the family to the Sleepy Hollow motel because Walker made three calls to relatives from a nearby pay phone saying they were safe, Detective Sgt. Bill Wargo said.

Officers knocked on the door of the motel room, and heard rumbling inside, after which Walker opened the door, trembling and crying.

Police said that White had been harassing Walker for several days before the abduction and that her sister and Turnage had been staying with the family.