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North Carolina mom kills 3 kids, herself during FaceTime video call

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Credit: WGHP

A 40-year-old North Carolina woman shot and killed her three young children – two girls and a boy – during a video call on FaceTime, local officials say. She then turned the gun on herself.

The killings happened at a home in Winston-Salem on Tuesday morning while the woman, 40-year-old Ethel Steele, was on a video call on FaceTime. The other person on the call witnessed the events.

Steele first shot her youngest daughter, 9-year-old Sakendra. The other daughter, 12-year-old Sakenya, then jumped up and screamed, after which she was shot as well. Steele finally fired at her son, 14-year-old Sakenlo, before killing herself.

The sequence of events was first reported by the Winston-Salem Journal.

Police, which were called to the home on Brookhill Drive just before noon, found the house locked from the inside. After forcing their way in, officers discovered Steele and her three children. All four were pronounced dead at the scene.

A motive for the killings was not immediately known.

Officials have not said whether anyone else lived at the home but a man arrived at the scene about an hour after the shooting and collapsed to the ground. He was later heard shouting and was overcome by grief as others tried to comfort him.

One neighbor, whose children occasionally played with the three victims, described the family as “reclusive,” according to the Journal. The godfather to one of the victims said the Steele family had just returned from a vacation to Florida.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis related to suicide, mental health or substance use, call or text the U.S. Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 to speak with a counselor in your area. If you’re in the UK, call the Samaritans at 116123.

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