Charles Slacks, Jr. is the 38-year-old South Carolina military veteran accused of shooting three children and an active-duty soldier to death at Slacks’ ex-wife’s home in Sumter on March 22, 2023, according to a news conference from Sumter Police Chief Russell F. Roark III.
Roark said Slacks also shot himself in front of his ex-wife.
In a March 22, 2023, statement on the Sumter Police Department’s Facebook page, the department wrote that “two adults and three children are dead following what appears to be a domestic-related shooting before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday on Whitetail Circle.”
Police later named the adult victim as Command Sergeant Major Carlos Evans, according to WIS-TV.
In the news conference, Roark said that the deceased children were 5-year-old Aayden Holliday-Slacks, 6-year-old Aason Holliday-Slacks, and their half-sister, 11-year-old Ava Holliday.
Slacks’ ex-wife, Aletha Holliday, escaped harm, Roark said, adding that the parents shared custody. Her Facebook page says she is a chef.
“From our family…thank you for your prayers, condolences, and expressions of love. We just want to share beautiful pictures with you of Ava, Aason, and Aayden. We love them and will keep them alive in our hearts and minds. Please continue to pray for us,” said a post on her Facebook page.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 3 Children Were Sleeping ‘in the Comfort of Their Own Bed’ When They Were Shot, the Police Chief Says
Roark described how the children were shot in their bedrooms.
He said the “little children were sleeping in the comfort of their own bed.”
He said it is difficult to understand when, through no fault of their own, children have “their life taken” by a father and stepfather. Roark added that it was “difficult for us to rationalize.”
According to the chief, Slacks shot the man later identified as Evans in the backyard. The Associated Press reported that Holliday worked with the soldier and had no relationship with him outside of work.
According to police, Slacks then went into the home followed by his Holliday, the mother of the three children, who were asleep upstairs. Slacks started going up the stairway in the residence and pointed a firearm at Holliday, Roark said.
She didn’t have her cell phone to make a 911 call so she went back outside where the first person was shot in search of that victim’s cell phone but couldn’t locate it, Roark said. He said that’s when she heard several gunshots and went back upstairs.
Slacks stood at the top of the stairs, put a weapon to his head, and took his own life in her presence, according to the chief. She then went upstairs and found the children deceased from apparent gunshot wounds, the chief said.
Holliday then ran to a neighbor’s and called 911. The neighbor entered the home and cleared it; he is in the military security forces, according to the chief.
All of the children were deceased, and the victim in the backyard had also been shot to death, said the chief.
According to the Sumter police statement, “There is no apparent threat to the public and Sumter Police Department officers are continuing to investigate.”
Police wrote in the statement: “Three children and two men, one of whom is believed to be the shooter, were found shot and killed. An investigation is ongoing and details will be released a later time.”
2. Charles Slacks Jr. Was a Military Veteran Who Worked at U.S. Army Central at Shaw Airforce Base
Slacks was a military veteran, according to ABC News. The family came to Sumter “through the military,” the chief said. He added that Sumter has been associated with the military since World War II.
The Associated Press reported that “Slacks was a civilian assigned to U.S. Army Central at Shaw Air Force Base, while the soldier killed was also assigned there.”
In 2018, Slacks posted a photo showing him with a firearm on Facebook. He also posted a photo showing him standing in front of a West Point sign.
Of the military, he wrote, “I got out 21 July 2006.”
3. On Facebook, Charles Slacks Wrote About ‘How Dangerous a Person Is’
On March 3, Slacks made his profile picture a graphic that reads, “The best thing about the worst time of your life is that you get to see the true colors of everyone.”
He wrote on Facebook that he “studied MBA/MIS at UAGC – The University of Arizona Global Campus,” and “studied Terrorism Studies at Henley-Putnam School of Strategic Security.” He also wrote that he “studied Associate of science at Central Texas College” and went to Fitzgerald High School.
He lived in Fort Riley, Kansas, Slacks wrote on Facebook.
In February 2023, he shared a graphic on Facebook that read, “You can tell how dangerous a person is by the way they hold their anger inside themselves quietly.”
4. Charles Slacks Wrote That an Accused Michigan School Shooter Was ‘in Fact a Domestic Terrorist’
In 2021, Slacks wrote about an accused Michigan school shooter, Ethan Crumbley, on Facebook.
“Neuroscientists are confirming what car rental places already figured out — the brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25. Up until this age, the prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain that helps curb impulsive behavior — is not yet fully developed,” Slacks wrote.
“He is in fact a domestic terrorist. I don’t argue that.. I argue the fact that this child for years showed signs of instability and brokenness yet his parents didn’t get him help….” he added. “Everyone of us knows how school kids are.. bullying.. etc..etc… He put up with a lot of sht like a lot of kids do everyday.”
He responded to a woman on his comment thread by writing, “You do know he killed white kids right?? Why is this racially motivating you? Secondly.. the focus was on parenting and noticing the signs of instability…”
5. Command Sergeant Major Carlos Evans Was Described as an ‘Outstanding Leader & Caring Friend’
According to WIS-TV, Evans “was the Command Sergeant Major for the Headquarters & Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Central. Evans was from Petersburg, Virginia, joining the army in July 2002; he served in multiple duty positions and locations around the world before joining the U.S. Army Central team in 2021.”
“Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Evans was an outstanding leader and caring friend who inspired and lifted up all those around him,” Lieutenant General Patrick D. Frank, U.S. Army Central Commanding General, told the television station. “CSM Evans 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’s family.”
Slacks had a key to the home even though the couple was divorced and entered the home with it around 10 p.m., the Associated Press reported.
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