COLUMBIA, S.C. » A woman charged with shooting and killing her two young children and seriously wounding her husband at their northwestern South Carolina home told a nurse at the hospital she wanted to kill herself, but just couldn’t do it, according to arrest warrants.
Suzanna Simpson was found hurt in a wrecked pickup truck outside her family’s home in Pickens County around 6 a.m. Tuesday, deputies said. She told paramedics "OK, OK, I shot my whole family," which sent officers rushing to the house, authorities said.
Inside, Simpson’s 5-year-old son Sawyer and her 7-year-old daughter Carly were found dead in their beds. Her 34-year-old husband Michael was wounded, investigators said, and he remains hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
Deputies are still trying to figure out what happened and why Simpson decided to shoot her family, Pickens County Sheriff Rick Clark said at a news conference.
"I can tell you honestly that we have no idea at this time," Clark said.
Suzanna Simpson has been charged with two counts of murder and attempted murder. She is also at the hospital, but Clark would not talk about what injuries the 35-year-old mother might have suffered or how seriously she was hurt.
She appeared to be talking right after she arrived. A nurse told investigators that Simpson said, "I shot my kids, then my husband, and tried to shoot myself several times, but couldn’t do it," according to arrest warrants.
Clark said it is likely many details in the shooting won’t be released until Simpson appears in court.
It isn’t known if Simpson has an attorney.
The family’s home is in the Dacusville community, about 15 miles northwest of Greenville.
The killings came less than two years after a 49-year-old woman killed her two adult sons, her ex-husband and her stepmother in their Pickens County home. Susan Hendricks pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the murders last month and was sentenced to life in prison. The sheriff said another slaying involving a mother killing her children weighed heavy on his officers and the county of 120,000 people.
"No matter how tough a cop you are, no matter how many people you have prosecuted — doesn’t matter who you are," Clark said. "When kids are involved it’s a whole different situation. It has gotten to us today."