Around 10:00 p.m. on March 21, Charles Edward Slacks Jr., 42, entered the home of his 38-year-old ex-wife, Aletha Holliday, in Sumter while she was outside having a conversation with a coworker, 38-year-old Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Evans, WOLO-TV reported.
Slacks exited the house and opened fire on Evans, who died from his injuries. He then went back inside the home and headed upstairs where his three children were sleeping, officials said.
Holliday followed Slacks, and he then turned the gun on her, Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said at a press conference. Her phone was upstairs charging, so she ran back outside to try and get Evans’ cell phone to call 911.
She then heard multiple gunshots and ran back inside and upstairs, where she saw Slacks take his own life with his gun, Roark said. Holliday then went outside and found a neighbor to call 911 for help.
Holliday and Slacks had two children together, Aason Holliday-Slacks, 6, and Aayden Holliday-Slacks, 5. Slacks was the stepfather of Holliday’s oldest child, Ava Holliday, 11. All three children died in their beds while sleeping.
Evans was the command sergeant major for the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion of United States Army Central, or USARCENT, The Sumter Item reported. Holliday, the only surviving person involved in the incident, is a sergeant major and serves as chief culinary manager for USARCENT.
Evans joined the Army in July 2002 and served in many positions and locations before joining USARCENT in 2021.
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Lt. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, USARCENT commanding general, said Evans was “an outstanding leader and caring friend who inspired and lifted up all those around him,” The Sumter Item reported.
Slacks also served in the U.S. Army from June 1999 to July 2006, according to The Sumter Item. He was a staff sergeant at the end of his service in 2006 when he was honorably discharged.
Autopsies will be conducted, but Roark said they’re treating the deaths as four homicides and a suicide.
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