SUMTER, S.C. — The Army has identified another of the victims in the shooting at a Sumter home that left five people dead, including three children.
U.S. Army Central said Thursday that 38-year-old Command Sergeant Major Carlos Evans was killed in the incident. Evans was from Petersburg, Virginia, and had been in the Army since 2002. He had been part of the U.S. Army Central since 2021 and was stationed at the Army base in Sumter.
"Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Evans was an outstanding leader and caring friend who inspired and lifted up all those around him,” said Lt. Gen. Patrick D. Frank, U.S. Army Central Commanding General, in a statement. “CSM Evans was well known and respected by all, and the influence and impact he made within the unit will never fade.
The incident took place Tuesday night at a home in the Woodridge subdivision. Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said a woman was outside of her home with a male coworker, later identified as Evans. While they were outside in the back of the home, Roark said her ex-husband, Charles Slacks Jr., entered the home using a key.
Roark said Slacks shot Evans and the woman's three children asleep in their bed before killing himself. Two of the children were Slacks' own kids, while the other was their half-sister.
"As adults, we’re not conditioned to bury children," Roark said in a press conference. "As people, as a community in our nation, we’re not conditioned to bury a child. That’s foreign to us, it’s very shocking."
The children were identified as 5-year-old Aayden Holliday Slacks, 11-year-old Ava Holliday, and 6-year-old Aason Holliday Slacks.
"When you have a situation where little children were sleeping in the comfort of their own bed and at no fault of their own had their life taken particularly by a father and a stepfather, that’s difficult for us to rationalize," Roark shares.
It’s difficult for the entire community to comprehend, neighbor Hung Nguyen explains.
"For the past it was peace. It just, I don't know, it just big surprise, big shock. But this place is peace. A lot of kids, they hang around here but now it’s...I think everybody gonna freak out," Nguyen said. "I don’t know what to do now. I mean I scared to tell my kids."
Nguyen says his kids attend the same schools that the victims did. Two of the siblings, ages five and six, went to Milwood Elementary School. The oldest sibling was 11 years old and attended Alice Drive Middle School.
"Sumter School District is grieving the loss of three students...Our sincere condolences are extended to the family," Superintendent Dr. William Wright said in a statement. "School counselors and our Crisis Response Team are at the schools to assist our students and staff who need assistance with this tragic loss. Our hearts are filled with sadness, and we will continue to lend support to one another during this time."
Henry Moreno has been working to flip a house in the subdivision for the past nine months. Chalk drawings and basketball hoops line the sidewalks in the neighborhood, which Moreno says is usually calm.
"It’s a quiet neighborhood, super peaceful, and then a tragedy happened right next door," Moreno says. "This is a really nice neighborhood and the fact that something that tragic happened here is just mind-blowing."
Community members like Brittany Bartlette and Harriet Pallesco have been stopping by to pay respects.
"Hug your little ones, hold them tight. You never know," Bartlette says about what she's thinking in the wake of the tragedy. "I am a mother of three boys and hearing the story last night and today is just very touching."
"I just can’t imagine having to go through something like this," Pallesco adds. "My heart just goes out to this family."
Roark says the tragedy is affecting members from all over the community since the woman and the two men were related to the U.S. Army Central on Shaw Air Force Base.
"When you connect Shaw Air Force Base, which is AFCENT, the Army side which is ARCENT, and about 100,000 people that live in this community, it has a huge ripple effect to the emotions of all of us as citizens and as parents," Roark explains. "This has been a tragic event for our community, for these two families, for our first responders, our officers, our EMS, firefighters that were on the scene...As far as I know, it’s the largest number of victims that died at the hands of a family member, particularly a father."
The woman was unharmed, although Roark says she is "distraught." The investigation is still ongoing.
Sumter County Coroner Robert Baker says the autopsies will be completed Thursday and Saturday at MUSC.