Murder-suicide leaves 4 dead

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RED BANK, S.C. --- As his relationship of several months crumbled around him, Chancey Smith devolved into a drunken depression Tuesday night. A friend called 911 to warn that the 32-year-old, armed with a semiautomatic handgun, was on his way to his estranged girlfriend's home and had said he intended to hurt her.

Family friend Margaret Fischer and Amanda Peake's brother, Josh Hartley, speak to the media in front of the family's home.   Associated Press
Associated Press
Family friend Margaret Fischer and Amanda Peake's brother, Josh Hartley, speak to the media in front of the family's home.

Deputies rushed to the scene, arriving, they said, only moments after Smith shot 27-year-old Amanda Peake, her 9-year-old son, Cameron, and 6-year-old daughter, Sarah, before turning the gun on himself.

"She was the greatest sister in the world," Josh Hartley said of Peake on Wednesday. "How could you ever do that to somebody?"

Just before the shootings, Smith was drunk, acting erratically and saying that if Peake "didn't tell him what he wanted to hear, then bad things were going to occur," Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said. After hearing Smith go into another room and load a gun, the friend left Smith's house and called 911.

Deputies found the children's bodies in the bedroom they shared, each shot once. Peake was in her bed, shot several times, Metts said. On the floor of the same room was Smith's body, with a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber automatic handgun lying nearby.

Deputies haven't determined whether there were previous reports of domestic violence involving the couple, though a friend said the relationship had become tumultuous.

Peake and Smith returned from a trip to Florida on Tuesday, and Smith began moving some of his belongings out of Peake's home, Metts said. Peake's best friend said the single mother was trying to get out of what she saw as a failing relationship.

"She was like, 'I'm done with him. I told him that I didn't want him anymore,' " Tiffany Jones, 21, said of a conversation she had with Peake about three hours before the shootings.

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onlysane1left 03/17/11 - 07:24 am
Terribly sad story, my heart

Terribly sad story, my heart goes out to all the family involved. :(

corgimom 03/17/11 - 09:50 am
When the person is leaving,

When the person is leaving, that is the most dangerous time of all. "If I can't have you, nobody can."

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 03/17/11 - 11:00 am
What‘s up with these selfish

What‘s up with these selfish people? He was brainwashed by you-know-what and this is happening more and more because of it. Prayers to all friends and family for this thing that never needed to happen if folks would ONLY LISTEN.

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