Former Soldier Fatally Shoots 3 Children While They Slept, Kills Another Man, Before Turning Gun on Himself

Charles Slacks, Jr killed his two sons, a former stepdaughter and his ex-wife's coworker

A South Carolina man went to his ex-wife's home and killed a man and three children before fatally shooting himself, police say.

Charles Slacks Jr., 42, used a key to the home that he kept after the relationship had ended. When he got to the property, he shot his ex-wife's coworker before heading upstairs to where the three children were sleeping. His ex-wife followed him up the stairs.

"Unfortunately, her cellphone was upstairs where the children were," Sumter Police Chief Russell F. Roark III said, according to NBC News.

Roark says that Slacks, a former active duty member of the U.S. Army, pointed the gun at his ex-wife. While she tried to retrieve a cellphone, he opened fire on three children under the age of 12 — two boys and a girl. Then, police say, he shot himself at the top of the stairs.

According to ABC News, the two younger boys were his sons. The third child — a girl — was his ex-wife's daughter. They were identified as Aayden Holliday-Slacks, 5; Aason Holliday-Slacks, 6; and Ava Holliday, 11.

Cordon tape seals off an active crime scene.
Police tape. Getty

Slacks' ex-wife was the only survivor. She is now staying with relatives.

The Associated Press reports that the man who was killed had been a soldier who had no relationship with Slack's ex-wife outside of work. In a statement on Facebook, U.S. Army Central identified the victim as Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Evans.

"Maj. Carlos Evans was an outstanding leader and caring friend who inspired and lifted up all those around him," wrote Lt. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, U.S. Army Central Commanding General. "He was well known and respected by all, and the influence and impact he made within the unit will never fade. We collectively mourn the immense loss of his presence in our lives and our thoughts and prayers are extended to CSM Evans' family."

It's unclear why Slacks came to the home, or if he was permitted to have a key to the building.

Police have not released an official motive in the attack. Authorities are still investigating.

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