According to the police, a 40-year-old mother from North Carolina is believed to have killed her three children before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Winston-Salem.
The incident was reported shortly before noon on Tuesday when authorities were called to the home of Ethal Syretha Steele.
Upon entering the residence, police discovered the bodies of Steele and her three children, identified as Sakenlo Shawn Steele Jr. (14), Sakenya Syretha Steele (12), and Sakendra Syann Steele (9). Steele is believed to be the sole suspect in the case.
The family was known to be reclusive, according to a neighbor who spoke to Winston-Salem Journal. Police were observed consoling a man who was crying outside the crime scene, but his relationship with the victims is unknown.
Prior to the apparent familicide, Winston-Salem had recorded 13 homicides this year in a city with a population of nearly 250,000 that is well-known for its college and tobacco roots.