A North Carolina mother is currently facing three counts of first-degree murder after authorities say she fatally shot three people in a shocking New Year’s Day triple homicide.
On Thursday, Brittany Christina McKinney, 29, made her first court appearance since being charged with triple homicide that left McKinney’s 10-year-old daughter Mkenzie, her 2-year-old niece Serenity Rose, and 61-year-old Jerry Griffin, who was living in the home, all dead.
“I never thought she would do something like this,” said the suspect’s stunned sister, Delilah Merritt, who contacted the Greensboro police Wednesday morning to request a welfare check at McKinney’s home.
Merritt was prompted to do so after receiving an alarming phone call from her sister.
“She said, ‘I killed everybody. I shot everybody in [the] house,’” she recalled. “She’s like, ‘My baby, my baby, I shot my baby.’ And then I said, ‘Where’s Serenity?’ and she said, ‘I shot her too.’”
“I didn’t want to believe it,” she added. “I still don’t.”
At 11:15 a.m., police arrived to the home where they discovered two victims dead at the scene and rushed a third to a local hospital. Unfortunately that family member ultimately succumbed to their injuries.
The slaying sent shockwaves across the tight-knit Greensboro community, where neighbors set up a makeshift mailbox memorial with flowers, cards and purple balloons to honors the family.
“It’s a sad situation, just very sad,” said local resident Gina Baldwin who lives nearby. “I hate that this happened.”
In addition to the incident, police say McKinney was also involved in a hit-and-run accident shortly thereafter, while driving a car belonging to one of the three victims, before crashing into a utility pole.
Merritt believes her sister was simply overwhelmed with life and also struggled with substance abuse issues. Police have yet to identified an official motive in the killings.