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St. Matthews murder-suicide: Daughters tried to defend mother

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Bugleflower Lane

A woman and two of her daughters were killed Sunday evening at a home on Bugleflower Lane in the St. Matthews area. Authorities believe their killer committed suicide.

A mother and two of her daughters are dead and so is the man who shot them in an apparent murder-suicide, according to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. 

The incident happened at 145 Bugleflower Lane, St. Matthews, just before 7 p.m. Sunday, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

Among the dead are Shanta Renee Singleton, 37, of the same address and two of her daughters, 12-year-old Tre’vay Stroman and 15-year-old Essence Stroman, according to Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth.

Singleton’s 18-year-old daughter Shantasia Stroman suffered a gunshot wound to the arm. She was treated at the hospital and then released.

Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers talks to T&D Reporter Martha Rose Brown about the Sunday, May 17, incident that left four dead, including a mother and two of her children. 

Singleton’s 13-year-old daughter was not injured, Porth said.

Gabriel Derell Jordan, 37, of the same address, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“Shanta was a very hardworking and dedicated mother. Her children were reflection of that love and devotion to their well-being and their losses will be felt by many,” attorney Chasity Avinger said. She served as a court-appointed guardian ad litem for one of the children.

Linda Grant, a neighbor on Bugleflower Lane, said, “It’s just sad. I really can’t even process what happened. It’s bad enough when adults are involved, but when children are involved, that’s just hard to break it.”

Grant said she really didn’t know Singleton and her daughters, but she knows Singleton’s mother and grandmother and other extended family members.

“I know that the family is a good family. She comes from a good family,” she said.

She estimates that Singleton began living at 145 Bugleflower Lane about a year ago.

Calhoun County Sheriff Thomas Summers said the slayings were the result of a “domestic violence argument that went really bad.”

Summers said he’s responded to thousands of domestic disputes during the course of his law enforcement career, but not one of this magnitude.

Singleton and Jordan were, “together off and on for many years,” Summers said.

According to the incident report, someone called 911 at 6:53 p.m. to report a shooting incident on Bugleflower Lane.

A neighbor who lived behind Singleton and Jordan said that he heard multiple gunshots behind his home.

He grabbed his shotgun and began walking toward the back of his residence. He then saw one of Singleton’s daughters running through the woods, crying that Jordan was shooting all of them, according to the report.

That neighbor told the daughter to stay at his house.

When he saw Jordan standing at the back of his property, he told him to go back home, the report said.

Moments later, the neighbor heard two more gunshots and law enforcement began arriving.

In the meantime, Shantasia Stroman, the 18-year-old daughter who was shot in the arm, fled to another neighbor’s house to get help.

One of the daughters told deputies that she, her three sisters and mother were on the way home from Myrtle Beach when one of the sisters noticed Jordan was following them.

When they arrived at the residence, Singleton and Jordan began to argue, a daughter told deputies. She said Singleton told Jordan that she was going to break up with him because she had a new boyfriend, who also went to the beach with them.

The argument began outside of the home, the report states.

The daughter said that when her mother told Jordan her intentions, he became irate, ran into the house where he retrieved a gun and then came back outside.

Singleton told her daughters to go inside the house.

While they were inside, they watched Jordan choking their mother by the shed in the backyard.

At that time, the daughters went outside to help their mother.

That’s when Jordan shot Singleton, a daughter told deputies.

She said that the youngest, 12-year-old Tre’vay Stroman, jumped on Jordan’s back and he shot her and then shot 18-year-old Shantasia Stroman in the arm.

She said that’s when she ran to get help, but managed to get a glimpse of Jordan allegedly chasing 15-year-old Essence Stroman back into the residence.

When deputies arrived, they discovered two unresponsive females on the ground next to a gold Honda Accord.

Not far from the bodies of the females, deputies discovered Jordan’s lifeless body on the ground and a pistol between his legs, the report states.

As deputies cleared the residence, they found another female deceased on the floor of a bedroom.

Both Summers and Porth are certain that the deaths are results of a murder-suicide.

The bodies are expected to undergo autopsies during the next couple of days.

Both the sheriff’s office and coroner’s office are continuing their investigations.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD.


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