GREENSBORO — The new year started on a deadly note, with a murder-suicide in High Point and an aggravated assault in Greensboro that left three people dead — two of them children.
Police identified the victims in the triple slaying as 61-year-old Jerry Griffin, 10-year-old Mkenzie Denise McKinney and 2-year-old Serenity Taliem Rose. All three were shot, according to Ron Glenn, a spokesman for the police department.
Brittany Christina McKinney, 28, of Greensboro is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths, police said in a news release. She is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.
Officers responded about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday to a welfare check in the 3600 block of Sweet Birch Drive in southeast Greensboro. A relative had contacted police to request the check, Glenn said.
Two victims were found dead at the scene, Glenn said, and a third victim was taken to a hospital, where that victim later died. Glenn would not say which victim was taken to the hospital.
McKinney is a relative of each of the victims, Glenn said, though police were not ready to release information about how she is related to them. Police also are not discussing a possible motive at this time.
Glenn also confirmed that Brittany McKinney lived at the residence, but declined to discuss whether the victims also lived there. White Pages lists a Jerry Griffin at 3627 Sweet Birch Drive.
Janson Silvers, a spokesman for Guilford County Schools, said Mkenzie Denise McKinney was enrolled as a student at Simkins Elementary and the district plans to have grief and crisis teams on site on Monday when students return to school.
It does not appear that anyone else was involved, Glenn said.
In the High Point killing, police said they are investigating the deaths of a couple from an apparent murder-suicide.
Officers responded to the 600 block of South Scientific Street at 2:41 Wednesday for a reported suicide and found Hong Van Ma, 49, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said in a news release.
At Ma's residence at 4020 Banbridge Drive, officers found his wife, 40-year-old Jenny Thao Ta, dead from a gunshot wound to the head, according to the release. Police believe that Ma killed his wife before killing himself.
There was no reported history of domestic violence between the couple, according to police.
In Greensboro, the triple slaying on the first day of the year follows a record-tying year for homicides. The city saw 44 killings in 2019, which tied the record set in 2017 for homicides in a single year.
High Point investigated 16 killings last year and the Guilford County Sheriff's Office investigated four, bringing the county's total to 64.
Anyone with information on the New Year's Day killings in Greensboro is asked to contact Greensboro/Guilford Crime Stoppers at 336-373-1000. Tips can also be shared through the P3tips app or website.