A Memphis, Tennessee mother of five has been arrested and charged in the stabbing deaths of four of her children.
Shanynthia Gardner was charged with four counts of first degree murder and child neglect in the murder of her children, all younger than five, KAKE reported.
The bodies of the children, 4-year-old Tallen Gardner, 3-year-old Sya Gardner, 2 year-old Sahvi Gardner, and 6-month old Yahzi Gardner were found when police entered her apartment.
Her 7-year-old son Dallen Clayton escaped the attack.
Here is the first look at the face of the mother law enforcement officials say stabbed her 4 children to death#WMC5 pic.twitter.com/4ciWLxhlgO
— WMC Action News 5 (@WMCActionNews5) July 2, 2016
According to an affidavit, Dallen ran up to a man screaming that his mother stabbed his siblings, according to KAKE.
“This is a terrible act, an egregious act that has shocked, I believe, the community, and has shocked our staff to the core,” Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham told reporters on Saturday.
“One of the most difficult questions in any investigation is always, ‘Why did this happen?’” he said while not releasing a motive for the killings.
Gardner’s former mother-in-law, and grandmother of Dallen, Sonya Clayton said she forgives her.
“She was a sweet young lady,” Clayton told KAKE of Gardner. “What happened, I don’t understand.”
“I know this is the work of the devil,” she said. “I know this is not Shanynthia. And I pray and I love Shanynthia.”
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Service said they’ve had no previous experience with the family.
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