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Four children stabbed to death; mother in custody

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Four children were killed at a Shelby County Apartment complex early Friday afternoon.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office confirmed they took the mother of the children into custody around 1 p.m.

They said they received a 911 emergency call around 12:40 from the Greens at Irene Apartments near Hacks Cross Road.

All of the children, who were under the age of six, had reportedly been stabbed and were deceased when deputies arrived.

The names of those involved have not been released yet.

The Shelby County District Attorney  was on the scene along with members of the Special Victims Unit and several other agencies.

Sheriff Bill Oldham said, "Our community has suffered an egregious act of evil and tremendous loss today."

Oldham went on to say, "One of the most difficult questions in any investigation always is 'why?'"

Frederick Smith, Pastor at New Life Holiness Church told us, "I am simply heart-broken. My wife and I work with kids everyday and I can't imagine a mother or anyone harming their own child and this is right in our community right down the street from where we teach and train kids everyday. This is devastating to know something like this can happen."

In a statement, Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr. said, "My heart breaks with the tragic murder of four young children today. Please pray for their relatives as they grieve for this tremendous loss, and for the first responders that will help them through this dire time. Shelby County’s counseling and trauma relief resources will be available to heal and comfort as best as we can."

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