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Victims in Guilford shooting spree laid to rest

Posted December 2, 2011

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— An extended Guilford County family and their community mourned Friday and prepared to bury five children killed in what investigators have described as a family massacre.

Mourners packed into a Baptist church in their hometown near Greensboro for a collective funeral for the five children between 8 and 17 gunned down in a shooting rampage by Mary Ann Holder, 36.

Flowers adorned the caskets, and one even had a University

Officers say Holder apparently shot one of her sons and three other children while they slept at her Pleasant Garden home, shot and wounded her married former lover, then killed her younger son. Holder then killed herself.

Four of the children survived for days with what Sheriff B.J. Barnes said were bullet wounds to the head. Holder left two notes apologizing for the pain she'd caused, Barnes said.

Holder's mother Frances said the family was praying at least one of the children would survive to describe what happened. Frances Holder said she can't believe her daughter was responsible for the mass killings because she cared deeply for her children.

"People are calling my daughter a deadbeat mother, she was a no-good mother," Frances Holder said Thursday outside the church where mourners visited with the family. "She was very close to her children. I don't know what happened. I have no answers. I'm waiting for answers, just like everyone else."

Mary Ann Holder is accused of killing her two sons: Robert Dylan Smith, 17, and Zachary Smith, 14. Barnes said she also killed the niece and nephew she took into her home when her sister died: Richard Brian Suttles, 17, and Hannaleigh Suttles, 8. She also mortally wounded Makayla Leigh Woods, Robert's 15-year-old girlfriend.

Victims in Guilford shooting spree laid to rest Victims in Guilford shooting spree laid to rest

Holder's ex-husband says, Rocky Smith, said the family donated the organs and tissues of Zachary Smith and Hannaleigh and Richard Suttles and that nearly two dozen people have been helped.

Mary Ann Holder had been having an affair with Randall Lamb, 40, for more than three years, and its aftermath created months of bitter accusations between Holder, Lamb and Lamb's wife, including allegations of stalking and harassment.

Jennifer Lamb had prepared but not yet filed a potentially costly lawsuit against Holder accusing her of alienating the affections of her husband, investigators said.

Mary Ann Holder met Randall Lamb the night before the shooting rampage to give him a $10,000 check in an apparent settlement aimed at staving off the threatened lawsuit, criminal investigators said in a search warrant. Holder then asked to meet him again the next morning in a community college parking lot.

That meeting ended with Holder firing several shots at Randall Lamb and wounding him in the shoulder. He recovered in a hospital and has returned home.


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  • gopack07 Dec 5, 2011

    "Flowers adorned the caskets, and one even had a University"

    ...a University what?

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Dec 2, 2011

    this makes me so upset. there is NO reason to take the lives of young children, or adults. if you are having problems in your life, and you feel it's necessary for someone to die, then let it be yourself. but before you do something stupid like this lady did, please try to go get help, please.

  • yy_heart Dec 2, 2011

    psuedonym - yes, she did a very evil thing, but mental illness can cause someone to become practically a different person. i'm sure she loved those children with all her heart and took care of them. i mean, she took in her niece and nephew on her own will! something caused her to break, to become someone else. i'm not by any means trying to defend or condone her actions - if she was still alive, she would deserve any punishment she was given. i'm only trying to say that you cannot determine what kind of mother and aunt she was based solely on her final actions.

  • Big Mike Dec 2, 2011

    I can't imagine the mental distress someone has inside to take the lives of their own children..no matter how bad it would get.
    Such a sad event and probably one that would have been prevented if someone would have just called out for help!

    for me..I owuld never

  • twc Dec 2, 2011

    Pseudonym, I agree with you.

    I many times have to wonder where or what people pull their posts out of. Some are just plain ignorant.

  • Pseudonym Dec 2, 2011

    Interesting how some people just absolutely REFUSE to recognize that women are people too and are just as capable of evil actions as men are. If this were a man who shot his children then killed himself, there would be over 200 comments, all of him condemning him to you know where. But since it's a woman, we get "there's more to this story", "maybe he made her write the note" blah blah blah.

    Face it folks, SHE did something evil.

  • SmokeWagon Dec 2, 2011

    I believe this woman decided to kill her lover, and then herself, and some how thought that if she was gone that the children would have no one to look after them...so she decided it was best for her to "take them with her"....way out there I know....but then again so is hanging all your hopes and dreams on a married man...no matter WHAT he promises....!!!

  • MudLife Dec 2, 2011

    I agree its to fishy why would a mother kill her own flesh and blood over an affair. I think the lover wanted the 10k and was tired of her being around now that the wife knew. I mean why shoot innocent children in the head and the lover just take a shot to the shoulder. She may have been forced to write the letter or someone else wrote it. Hope the truth comes out soon.

  • 2alegal Dec 2, 2011

    I was just about to post almost the very same thing that babe posted. I can promise you that my 15 year old WOULD NOT be staying at any boyfriends house...........

  • babedan Dec 2, 2011

    Where were the Parents of the 15 year old girl? What was a 15 year old doing spending the night with her 18 year old boyfriend. Sometimes saying no you can't do that shows more love than saying yes. Just think where the young lady would have been today if your mom and dad had just said NO YOUR CANNOT SPEND THE NIGHT WITH YOUR BOYFRIEND.