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North Carolina Mother Shoots Her 3 Kids, Herself During FaceTime Call Shortly After Family Returns Home From Florida Vacation

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Apr. 12 2023, Published 4:50 p.m. ET

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A North Carolina mother and her family recently returned home from a vacation in Florida when she allegedly shot her three kids dead and then turned the gun on herself while on a Facetime call, according to officials.

Around 12 p.m. on April 11, officers were called to a residence in Winston-Salem for a possible shooting, WAVY reported.

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Once inside the residence, police found Ethal Steele, 40, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officers said.

Police said they also found her children, daughters Sakendra Syann Steele, 9, Sakenya Syretha Steele, 12, and 14-year-old son, Sakenlo Shawn Steele Jr., dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Steele shot the children while on a Facetime call and then apparently killed herself. The person on the other end of the call witnessed the shootings.

Police said they believe the mother shot the youngest girl first and then the older girl jumped up and screamed before she was shot twice, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. The boy was the last of the children to be shot.

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Ethal’s god-brother spoke to WGHP and said the family had recently gotten back from a vacation in Florida. Neighbors told WGHP that the children were homeschooled.

One neighbor said, “You don’t imagine it will happen or that it would be that close,” WGHP reported. The neighbor added, “They seemed to be happy, normal kids.”

No motive for the killings was given and police said the investigation is ongoing.

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