RICHMOND, Va. -- What did two sets of young, innocent eyes see when their mom, 24-year-old Shaquenda Walker, and grandma, 55-year-old Deborah Walker were shot to death?
Police believe 23-year-old Walter Gaines III then turned the gun on himself.
"They witnessed murder,” said the family pastor, Rev. Sharon Broaddus from St. Paul's Baptist Church. “Their bodies have been in there two days and it has to have an effect on the children.”
Police said it is unknown when the adults died and how long the children had been with their bodies. The Medical Examiner will determine the approximate time, cause and manner of the victim's deaths.
"I feel bad for her children. I feel sorry for them," Erica Crumble, a cousin of Shaquenda, said Thursday. "For them to have to witness that and for them to have to go through that."
The Mosby Court community was reeling from Thursday's discovery.
Police were called to the Oliver Crossing Apartments after a little boy and his sister, both under the age of five, came outside and knocked a neighbor's door saying their mother and grandmother wouldn’t wake up.
"Hopefully they ran and hid and didn't look at it, but there's no telling,” said VCU psychologist Micah McCreary. He said it will be a long road of recovery for the two children. He suggests the oldest may need help right away.
"If we sit back and do nothing… we’re going to get this kind of mess," he added.
McCreary said Thursday's tragic events are a reminder that you never know what's going on behind closed doors and if you feel you are in a volatile relationship, then don't hesitate to ask for help.
"It seems like nothing, but it really helps to get it out of you, because this stuff bubbles up and it explodes” McCreary said. “To actually take away someone's mother, grandmother, then your own self is just the epitome of rage and hurt.”
Family members and Rev. Broaddus said the two children are now being cared for by other relatives.