Victim, suspect's name released in apparent Red Bank murder/suicide
Wed, 16 Mar 2011 11:35:16 GMT —
RED BANK (WACH, AP) -- Officials say a man shot and killed his estranged girlfriend and her two kids before killing himself at the woman's Red Bank home Tuesday night.
Major John Allard, with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, says the shooting spree happened around 10 p.m. on Farm Chase Drive.
Investigators think 32-year-old Chancey Smith shot and killed 27-year-old Amanda Peake and her 9-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter who were from a previous marriage. Family members encouraged WACH Fox News to share a picture of Cameron and Sarah posing with their mother Amanda.
"How could you ever do that to somebody? They were all innocent parties in this," says Josh Hartley, Amanda TMs brother.
Neither Smith nor Peake have a criminal record according to Lexington officials.
Witnesses tell investigators Smith had been drinking as he moved his stuff out of Peake's house after a recent break-up.
Shortly before the shootings, officials say Smith's friend called 911 saying Smith was loading guns and planning on killing Peake.
"The text message said, I'm going to her house and I TMm going to see her, talk to her. If things don't work out the way I want them to, something's going to happen, says Lexington County Sheriff James Metts.Read more... Peake's Twitter Page Peake's Modeling Photos
Investigators say there was no signs of forced entry and Smith did have a key to the house. It's unclear what order the shootings took place at this time. Officials say the victims were shot in the head.
"Why he took the lives of the children, we theorized maybe leaving a sign that he was really punishing the family, " says Sheriff Metts.
WACH Fox News spoke to members of the slain mother's family Wednesday morning.
Josh Hartley, Amanda's brother, remembers her as a great person and mother and says this is a great reminder to love your family as much as possible.
An autopsy has been ordered on all four bodies and officials continue their investigation.
WACH Fox News is working on this developing story and will continue bring you the latest as it becomes available.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)