A Memphis mother was charged with four counts of first degree murder on Saturday, July 2, after she allegedly stabbed four of her children to death the day before.
According to the Associated Press, Shanynthia Gardner, 29, killed the four young children by cutting their throats in their apartment in a gated community in Shelby County, Tennessee, on Friday, July 1. The victims were later identified as Tallen, 4, Sya, 3, Sahvi, 2, and Yahzi, 6 months. A fifth child, Dallen, 7, was able to escape.
Gardner has been charged with four counts of first degree murder while committing aggravated child abuse, four counts of first degree murder while committing aggravated child neglect, four counts of aggravated child abuse and four counts of aggravated child neglect or endangerment.
The AP reports that Gardner called her husband, Martin Gardner, and admitted to killing four of their five children.
When officials arrived at the suburban Memphis apartment, they found the mother with cuts to her neck and wrists and “severe lacerations” on the four children’s throats. They also found a large butcher knife with what appeared to be blood on it.
“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 said during a press conference on Saturday.
It is currently unknown if Gardner has mental health problems. She is due to appear in court on Tuesday, July 5.