A man shot and killed four people, including three children, then killed himself at his ex-wife’s home, police in Sumter, South Carolina, said.
Charles Slacks Jr. used a key to enter the home of his ex-wife on Tuesday around 10 p.m. Slacks went to the backyard and shot the woman’s co-worker then headed upstairs, where the children were sleeping, according to The Associated Press.
The woman followed Slacks up the stairs before he turned and pointed the gun at her. She ran back down the stairs and into the backyard to try to get a phone from the man who had been shot. As she did, she heard shots from upstairs, according to the Sumter Item.
Slacks had shot and killed the three children — two boys and a girl — then he shot himself at the top of the stairs, police said.
The children were ages 5, 6 and 11, Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker told the Item. Slacks was the father of the two boys, the 5- and 6-year-olds, and was the girl’s stepfather.
“When you have a situation where little children were sleeping in the comfort of their own bed, and in no fault of their own had their life taken — particularly by a father and a stepfather,” Roark said. “That’s difficult for us to rationalize.”