“Please continue to pray for us;” says mother of three children murdered in Sumter
SUMTER, S.C. (WIS) - Aletha Holliday, mother of the three children shot and killed in Sumter at the hands of her ex-husband, Charles Slacks, Jr., released a statement Thursday following the murders.
Holliday posted the following statement on Facebook alongside pictures of her late children, 5-year-old Aayden Holliday-Slacks, 6-year-old Aason Holliday-Slacks, and 11-year-old Ava Holliday:
“From our family…thank you for your prayers, condolences, and expressions of love. We just want to share beautiful pictures with you of Ava, Aason, and Aayden. We love them and will keep them alive in our hearts and minds. Please continue to pray for us.”
Holliday declined to elaborate beyond on her statement when reached by WIS on Thursday.
According to the Sumter Police Department, the shooting happened around 10 P.M. Tuesday night at the 100 block of Whitetail Circle in the Woodridge subdivision.
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Sumter Police Chief Russell F. Roark III said Slacks entered the home he co-owned with Holliday using a key.
Slacks discovered his ex-wife in the backyard speaking with her 38-year-old male co-worker, who has since been identified as Sergeant Major Carlos Evans, Roark said.
Roark said Slacks shot Evans, went inside, and later shot and killed the children.
Slacks was the father to Aayden and Aason, and stepfather to Ava.
Slacks then took his own life, Roark said.
Evans later died at the hospital.
One woman, whose daughter and grandson live in the subdivision, said she never could have imagined something like this happening in the tight-knit neighborhood.
“They’ll never forget, but their heart will heal,” the grandmother, who wished to only be identified by her first name Janice, said. “But you’ll never forget. And those poor babies. Even the babies that knew them. They’ll take it with them for the rest of their life.”
Janice was making bows to give to neighbors as a sign of hope during this difficult time, and to let them know that people care.
“Pray for their mom, and their families because those children have grandmas out there, I’m a grandma,” she said. “If I could take the pain away from all of them, I would.”
Sumter Police says the investigation is still in its early phases, and no motive is known.
Members of the Alice Drive Baptist Church at 1305 Loring Mill Road announced on Thursday a prayer and support service to be held Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m.
A spokesperson for the church said there will be a prayer, times of reflection and counselors available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
All impacted are invited to attend.
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