Mother of woman at center of shooting spree speaks out

December 2, 2011 8:14:40 PM PST
On the eve of the funeral for the victims of last month's shooting spree in Guilford County, there's an outpouring of grief and anger. Most of the victims, who ranged in age from 8 to 17 were related to Mary Ann Holder. Authorities say she's the person who went on the Nov. 20 shooting rampage in Guilford County.

Now, Holder's mother is speaking out for the first time about her daughter. She's defending her daughter as a loving mother.

Guilford County investigators say Mary Ann Holder killed herself after shooting her two sons, 17-year-old Dylan Smith and 14-year-old Zachary Smith, her 8-year-old niece Hannaleigh Suttles, her nephew, 17-year-old Richard Suttles as well as 15-year-old Makaylah Woods. Woods was at their home visiting at the time of the shooting.

"I know for a fact my daughter was [a good mother]. She was very close to her children," said Frances Holder, the mother of alleged shooter. "I don't know what happened. I don't have answers. I'm waiting for answers just like everyone else."

Those answers have been hard to come by.

"It's just heartbreaking that a mom can come to that point where she feel like there's no other options," said family friend Amy Turner.

Police say an extra-marital affair gone bad may have motivated the shooting spree. Mary Ann Holder was involved with a married man and shot him in the shoulder. He is the only victim to survive the shootings.

However, as people remember the dead, Holder's mother says her grandchildren live on through organ donations.

"There's 15 other lives my grandchildren saved," said Frances Holder.

But questions about what really happened also live on.

"We need love. We need, prayers. We need answers. That's what we need," said Frances Holder.

Funeral services for the children, as well as their burial plots, have been donated.

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