Report: Surviving children detail terrifying account of murder-suicide at home near St. Matthews

Updated: May. 18, 2020 at 10:10 PM EDT
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ST. MATTHEWS, S.C. (WIS) - A mother and her two children who died in a shooting at a home in Calhoun County have been identified.

The shooting happened Sunday, May 17 at a house just outside the city limits of St. Matthews on Bugleflower Lane, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed.

Deputies responded to the scene just after 7 p.m. and discovered the bodies of four people.

Officials say a mother and two of her teenage children were shot and killed by a 37-year-old St. Matthews man who later shot and killed himself. Deputies say the incident was a domestic argument that turned violent.

The woman who died has been identified as Shanta Singleton. Her two children who were killed were Essence Stroman, 15, and 12-year-old Trevay Stroman.

Deputies have identified the gunman as 37-year-old Gabriel Jordan

Two other children -- ages 18 and 13 -- were at the home during the shooting but escaped.

The incident report received from the Sheriff’s Department details the events leading up to the deadly shooting.

One of the two daughters that survived the attack spoke with investigators at the scene about what sparked the act of violence.

She told the deputy her mother and three sisters were on the way home from Myrtle Beach on Sunday. One of her sisters noticed her dad, Jordan, followed them to the house, the report said.

Upon arrival at the home, Jordan and Singleton began to argue, according to the report. Jordan was upset because Singleton was about to break up with him, and her new boyfriend came with the family to the beach. It was at that point, the report says, that Jordan became irate.

Singleton told the girls to go inside the house. The report says shortly after, Jordan started to choke Singleton outside the home and the daughters rushed to their mom’s defense. Jordan pulled out his gun and shot Singleton, the report says. She later died.

Her daughter, 12-year-old Trevay Stroman, jumped on Jordan. The report says that’s when he shot and killed the girl.

According to the report, Jordan and Singleton’s 18-year-old was shot in the arm by her dad. While wounded, she told Singleton’s 13-year-old daughter to run and get help. She did.

As the 13-year-old ran, she told investigators she saw Jordan chase her other sister, 15-year-old Essence Stroman, into the home. Jordan eventually shot and killed Essence before taking his own life, the report says.

According to the Sheriff’s Department, the 18-year-old who was shot in the arm was taken to a local hospital, but is expected to be OK.

Sheriff Thomas Summers says there is no active threat to the community at this time. He added that domestic violence and mental health are serious issues and help is always available.

“Any incident involving the loss of life is tragic, but in this case the senseless violence is unimaginable,” Summers said. “This entire family and the community are grieving over this senseless act. No one should be capable of this level of violence.”

CCSO and the Calhoun County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate.

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