A social worker determined the children should be removed from a south Dallas residence Friday, just before three of them were found dead and two wounded, authorities said Saturday.
Shamaiya Deyonshana Hall, 25, was charged with three counts of capital murder, the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
She was being held at the Wayne McCollum Detention Center in lieu of $6 million bail, according to sheriff’s office and jail records. Those records give her address in nearby Forney, Texas.
It was not clear if she has been named counsel in the case. The sheriff’s office did not clarify what, if any, relationship she may have had with the victims.
The sheriff’s office did not publicly identify the children, but said the three dead were a 6-year-old boy and 5-year-old twins, a girl and a boy.
A 13-month-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were hospitalized with serious injuries, the office said.
Sheriff’s officials said a Child Protective Services caseworker on a «home visit» Friday made the determination to remove the children. The social worker called 911 around 4 p.m. Friday, the office said.
An Italia City police officer who responded to the call discovered the injured children, the sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Cozby said at a news conference Friday night that there was no threat to the community.
In an earlier statement, the sheriff’s office characterized the situation as an «isolated incident.»
Sheriff’s investigators were called to the home in a residential area that also includes an elementary school and a Catholic church, after 4 p.m., Cozby said.
Police in Italy, Texas had requested assistance from the sheriff’s office with an investigation of the death, he said in that earlier statement. In Saturday’s statement, the sheriff’s office said it received the initial 911 call, but it was forwarded to city police, apparently as a matter of routine.
«When we arrived, we found multiple victims on the scene,» Cozby said Friday. «Three deceased victims were found inside the house. All the victims were children. Two children were taken to local hospitals.»
“We are shocked by this incomprehensible tragedy and are already working with law enforcement to investigate how and why this happened,” a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said in a statement.
Italy has a population of about 2,300 and is about 44 miles south of Dallas.