She stood there, injured and holding a knife, outside her Florida home.
That image is horrifying enough, but nothing compared to what police found inside.
Three of that woman’s children were unresponsive, including a 7-year-old girl, according to the Palm Beach, Florida, police department. One of them, a 6-year-old boy, died later Friday night. A 5-month-old boy is critically injured.
Their mother, meanwhile, was “uncooperative” while being “taken into custody,” police Chief Mark Renkens told reporters.
She was brought with “non-life-threatening injuries” to a nearby hospital, where detectives waited to interview her.
Police did not say what charges the woman may face, if any. But they did acknowledge the nightmare now facing her family.
“A crime like this is beyond words,” police Capt. Josh Resh said. “It is unthinkable that someone could do this to innocent children.”
Authorities’ first indication of trouble came in a 911 call just before 6 p.m. Friday from someone indicating children had been killed or injured. The father of one of the children placed his own call to police a short time later, after arriving home to the grim scene.
Police did not immediately explain how the children were injured and killed.
Regardless, the episode shook those in the victims’ neighborhood in Palm Bay, which is about 70 miles southeast of Orlando on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
It started with the sirens and about 10 armed officers coming down the street, telling him to get inside, neighbor Davion Lewis CNN affiliate WESH.
But learning why they had come there was even more disturbing.
“It’s inexcusable, unthinkable, … shocking,” neighbor Becky Johnson said. “You think of your own kids.”