Sakenlo Jr., Sakenya, and Sakendra Steele
14-year-old Sakenlo Shawn Steele Jr., (b. 2009), 12-year-old Sakenya Syretha Steele (b. 2011), and 9-year-old Sakendra Syann Steele (b. 2014) were shot to death as part of a murder-suicide by their mother, Ethel Steele. The children were homeschooled.
Steele was a nurse whose relatives described her as “a single mother who homeschooled her three kids” with the help of her mother, who was not named as a target of the investigation. A neighbor described the Steeles as “very reclusive,” noting that Sakenlo, Sakenya, and Sakendra only occasionally left the home to play with the other children in the neighborhood. Steele’s brother D’Mon Robinson noted that “The kids were outgoing… We have a cheerleader. We have an artist, also an anime artist.” The children’s godfather reported the murders took place immediately after the family’s return from a vacation in Florida.
A man on FaceTime with Steele at the time of the murders, likely the children’s father, called 911. Responding officers determined that Steele shot and killed each of the children sequentially before killing herself. Evidence indicates Sakenya may have witnessed the murder of her little sister.
Date: April 11, 2023
Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina