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North Carolina woman kills her 3 children, then turns gun on herself

 April 12, 2023

A mother in Winston-Salem N.C. shot her three children dead and then apparently turned the gun on herself and committed suicide on Tuesday.

Ethel Steele, 40, and her children, sisters Sakendra Syann Steele, 9; Sakenya Syretha Steele, 12; their brother, Sakenlo Shawn Steele Jr., 14; were all found dead inside the home located in a cul-de-sac at the end of Brookhill Drive, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Sheriff calls it a 'sad situation'

The shooting happened shortly before noon in what's reportedly a normally quiet, suburban area.

Police believe the shooting happened while the mother was on a Facetime call, and the person on the other end of the call is a witness to the shootings.

Police had to force entry into the home in order to respond to the call they received to the scene.

"It's a sad situation. That's all I can tell you," Forsyth County Sheriff  Bobby Kimbrough told bystanders and the Daily Mail.

Over one dozen police vehicles were present as law enforcement put up yellow tape to keep bystanders at a distance while the scene was under investigation.

An ambulance was called to the scene, and then slowly and quietly left at about 12:30 p.m., according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Unsuspecting resident overcome with grief

At about 1:15 p.m., a man arrived, got out of his car and walked into the cul-de-sac.

As he approached a home next to the one where the police investigation was taking place, he crumbled to the ground in tears.

The identity of the man was not released, but bystanders seemed to recognize him and made attempts to comfort him.

Unsuspecting neighbors express their thoughts

The entire neighborhood is in shock about what has happened.

"This happened in my neighborhood. You don’t want to see this. You see this on the news, and…it is another neighborhood. For it to happen here in our neighborhood, is very concerning. It’s close to home," Angela Terrill, a neighbor, told WGHP.

"I hate to think of the fact that every day when I come in, I’m going to look at that house, and I always know something tragic happened there. That will always be etched in my memory," neighbor William Martin told WGHP.

"This sucks, That’s all you can say. This sucks. Three kids are gone, and there’s really no way that you’ll actually know why,"  Quamekia Shavers told WGHP.

"You don't imagine it will happen or that it would be that close. They seemed to be happy, normal kids," Shavers added.

The shooting is still under investigation, according to law enforcement, though police have confirmed that the neighborhood is not under any threat and they aren't searching for suspects.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741.