ELLERBE, N.C. (WBTV) — A suspect is being interviewed after three people were killed in Ellerbe according to the Richmond County sheriff.
Deputies have arrested Steve William Smith, 40, and charged him with three counts of murder, one count of breaking and entering, and one count of giving fictitious information to a law enforcement officer.
The victims have been identified as 68-year-old Gloria Durham, and her children 42-year-old Samuel Durham, and 38-year-old Latasha Durham.
“I have no words. I really have no words,” said Tanya Ingram, Gloria Durham’s sister.
Family members say Smith and Latasha Durham had been in an on-again, off-again relationship for almost 20 years, and had three children together.
“Very devastating to them, to basically lose two parents,” said Annette Caviness, also Gloria Durham’s sister.
The incident reportedly happened in a home on Robinson Avenue near 4th Street.
According to the Sheriff James Clemmons, Jr., three children were also inside the home at the time of the killing but were not hurt.
Caviness said Smith had a history of violence toward Durham, but she said it has never escalated to anything like this.
“Unfortunately my sister and her son, they were at the home as well. I guess he said, ‘If I take one, I’m going to take them all,'” Caviness said.
The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation.
Deputies have not released details about what happened in this Richmond County home or when the homicide happened.
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