A North Carolina mother of two has done the unimaginable. Early Sunday morning, Mary Ann Holder shot her two sons, her older son’s girlfriend, a niece and nephew and a former lover before taking her own life. Dead are Holder’s boys, 17 -year-old Robert “Dylan” Smith and 14-year-old Zachary Smith, as well as her nephew Richard Brian Suttles, 17, and niece Hannaleigh Suttles, 8. Dylan’s girlfriend, 15-year-old Makayla Leigh Woods, is in critical condition. All of the children were shot in the head.
“[It's] is one of the worst situations I’ve seen in my 30 years in law enforcement,” said Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes. “We’ve got a situation basically that no one could ever imagine would happen here.”
The sixth victim is a 40-year-old married man named Randal Scott Lamb, with whom Holder, 36, was having an affair. He was shot in the shoulder but survived.
According to reports, Lamb’s wife Jennifer Lamb called 911 early Sunday morning after her husband told her he had been shot. (Jennifer had filed a restraining order against Holder, saying she would constantly call and text their cell phones; she had also planned to sue her over the affair – a claim that’s allowed in North Carolina.) Police went to Holder’s home to look for her at around 9:22 a.m. Around that same time, Holder had arranged had to pick up her son Zachary at a friend’s house, where he had spent the night.
At 10:11 a.m., a deputy spotted Holder’s car and as he approached he saw a “puff of smoke.” He found both Mary Ann Holder and her son Zachary dead in the car. Investigators found Holder’s other son, Dylan, dead in the family home. Holder’s niece and nephew – both of whom lived with her – were also shot in the head and were rushed to the hospital, along with Dylan’s girlfriend. The former two have since died, while the latter remains in critical condition.
Holder left behind a note in which she took responsibility for the shootings and apologized. According to Sheriff Barnes, the note implied that she was angry with how her relationship with Lamb ended. He also said that Holder has no history of mental health issues and no criminal record.
(Photo: Guilford County Sheriff)