Terri Harris, 35, was killed along with her kids, John Paul Bennett, 13, Lacey Bennett, 11, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11.
Tragedy struck the community of Killamarsh in Derbyshire, England, when a mother and her two children along with a classmate were killed at a sleepover. The victims included Terri Harris, 35, her children John Paul Bennett, 13 and Lacey Bennett, 11, and Lacey’s friend Connie Gent, 11, from Sheffield. Terri's boyfriend Damien Bendall, 31, was taken to hospital with self-inflicted wounds before being arrested by police over the four bodies in the house. According to The Daily Mail, a friend of Terri said that she was in the early stages of pregnancy before being killed. A neighbor shared, "I didn't hear anything when the attack happened, but on the night before there was an argument - they were shouting. It's so heartbreaking because the little kids have done nothing wrong. Terri told my mum she was pregnant but couldn't tell anyone yet as it was still early in the pregnancy. Mum said she wants to move out, she is not dealing with it well. As soon as we can find a way out, she said she is done with Killamarsh." Speaking of the heartbreaking loss. Diane Bennett, 63, Lacey, and John Paul's paternal grandmother shared, "I don't know how we will cope, but we are a loving family. I can't come to terms with what happened. Three kids have been killed. No child should have to go through all of that. I heard she was pregnant, but I don't know."
🚨BREAKING: A 31-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of the murders of a mother and three children, Derbyshire Police have saidhttps://t.co/VLWwBcwcmn— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) September 21, 2021
Explaining the situation, Chief Constable Rachel Swann shared, "This has been an understandably shocking event that has deeply affected the local community in Killamarsh, as well as Connie's family and friends in Sheffield, and our thoughts are also with them. I would also like to state my thanks to those officers who arrived at the scene with such speed as well as colleagues from the East Midlands Ambulance Service who attended the incident. All acting with immense professionalism in such a difficult situation. While understandably worrying and upsetting this is believed to be an isolated incident in which those involved were known to one another and nobody else is being sought in connection with the deaths. The force did not have any prior contact with those involved. The man officers arrested at the scene, a 31-year-old from Killamarsh, remains in police custody on suspicion of the murders of Terri, Lacey, John Paul and Connie. A team of detectives have been working through the night to understand the circumstances that led to their deaths and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward."
It is understood that Damien Bendall, 31, was detained at the scene after the discovery of four bodies in a house in Derbyshire. https://t.co/EYxDduAr2R— Metro (@MetroUK) September 21, 2021
According to BBC, the families have received an outpour of support from the community through the tragedy. A fundraiser for the families has raised more than £16,000 (a little over $21,00).Outwood Academy City, the Sheffield school where the children studied, said their memories would "live on forever". They issued a statement which said, "The children had bright futures ahead of them but sadly none of us will get to see this. Lacey and Connie had just embarked on their secondary school journey with us and already made a positive impression on everyone they came into contact with. John Paul was a popular and polite young man, well-liked by staff and with a close-knit group of friends."
Our thoughts are with them. An absolute tragedy— Parental Alienation UK (@PAlienationuk) September 22, 2021
Derbyshire deaths: GoFundMe page set up for families of John Paul Bennett, Lacey Bennett, Terri Harris, and Connie Gent raises more than £15,000 https://t.co/banW01vbKS
Jason Bennett, the father of John and Lacey, broke down telling reporters, as per the Guardian, that he was “heartbroken, million pieces, shattered.” John and Lacey’s grandparents, Debbie and Trevor Bennett, were also there. Debbie shared, “We are just heartbroken. They were beautiful, well-mannered kids. Terri was a beautiful mother, a wonderful mother. We are just devastated.” Recalling the children's spirits, she said: “As far as Lacey goes, she was a proper girl, pink and sparkly. John was into computers. They were the most well-mannered kids you could hope to meet. They always said please and thank you. I don’t know how we are going to cope.”