State News

8-year-old victim in Greensboro shooting spree dies

Posted November 21, 2011 12:43 p.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2011 12:52 p.m. EST

— Guilford County authorities said Monday that an 8-year-old girl wounded by her aunt in a Sunday morning shooting spree has died.

Hannaleigh Suttles was one of six people whom Mary Ann Holder, 36, of Greensboro, apparently shot before killing herself, authorities said.

Three victims remained on life support Monday evening, including Hannaleigh’s brother and Holder's 14-year-old son. Her 17-year-old son died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Sheriff B.J. Barnes said Monday that Holder left several notes taking responsibility for and apologizing for the crimes, but investigators still don't have a motive.

"The notes didn't really explain why she did what she did," Barnes said at a news conference Monday morning, adding that it appeared they stemmed from a domestic situation that "got out of hand."

Barnes said the investigation began around 9 a.m. Sunday morning when a woman called 911 reporting that Holder, her husband's former girlfriend, shot him in the parking lot of Guilford Technical Community College.

A short time later, deputies looking for Holder found her and her 14-year-old son, Zachary Lee Smith, inside an SUV near their home. Holder had shot and killed herself; Smith had been shot in the head.

When investigators went to Holder's home, they found her 17-year-old son, Robert Dylan Smith, dead. Three others –Hannaleigh, Holder's 17-year-old nephew, Richard Brian Suttles, and Makayla Leigh Woods, a 15-year-old girlfriend of one of the sons – had each been shot in the head.

Zachary Smith, Richard Suttles and Woods were listed in critical condition at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital Monday afternoon, Barnes said.

Holder's ex-boyfriend, Randal Scott Lamb, 40, was shot in the shoulder and was listed in stable condition.

"I don't know what to make of it. It's awful," Holder's neighbor, Teresa Scott, said, adding that she never thought Holder was capable of such a crime.

"She didn't socialize with us neighbors," she said. "I don't know what happened to the woman."

A memorial now sits on the front lawn of the Holder house, where Scott and her husband, Joe Scott, said they watched the children play on a tire swing.

"It's beyond my imagination that a mother would – good children such as they were – that she would do any harm to precious children," Joe Scott said.

Barnes said Holder and Lamb had been involved in an affair that had ended and that Holder had taken out a restraining order against Lamb and his wife but that the order had expired. Lamb's wife had also filed an alienation of affection lawsuit against Holder, he said.

Investigators found two notes at Holder's home and also recovered two handguns, he said.

"This is one of the worst situations that I have seen in my more-than 30 years in law enforcement," said Barnes, who has been Guilford's sheriff since 1995. "This is a situation where we’ve got death. We’ve got drama. We’ve got a situation basically that no one could ever imagine would happen here in Guilford County.

"This is the type of thing that you read about and hear about coming from California or New York or some place like that, but it's right here," he continued.