4 children fatally stabbed in Memphis; mother in custody

Stabbing tile

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Four young children in suburban Memphis were fatally stabbed Friday and their mother was taken into custody, authorities said.

Deputies were called to an apartment complex in the county shortly before 1 p.m. Friday, said Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham, who did not specifically allege that the mother had stabbed the children.

"This is an egregious act of evil that has shocked us to our core," Oldham said. "I will never understand how anyone can do this."

Officials have not released the ages of the children, but sheriff's office spokesman Earle Farrell said deputies responding to the scene called them "babies."

The investigation is in a very preliminary stage and investigators do not know if the mother had any mental health issues, Oldham said. He said authorities are working to notify the next of kin and won't release names before that.