WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — We know the names of the people who died in a murder-suicide in Winston-Salem but not the reason why.

Police said they found Ethel Steele, 40, of Winston-Salem, shot inside a home on Brookhill Drive around lunchtime. Police said she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Her children, ages 9, 12 and 14, were also found dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

Investigators were in the area from lunchtime until about 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

Ethel’s god-brother spoke to FOX8’s Caroline Bowyer and told her the family had recently gotten back from a vacation in Florida. 

People in the neighborhood are shocked by the news.

“I hate to think of the fact that every day when I come in, I’m going to look at that house, and I always know something tragic happened there,” said William Martin, who lives on Brookhill Drive. “That will always be etched in my memory.”

Martin lives two doors down from the home, which was the center of a police investigation Tuesday afternoon.

Winston-Salem police responded to the call at Brookhill Drive around lunchtime. When they got there, the home was quiet, and the doors were locked.

Police forced their way in. Inside, they found four bodies.

“I thought it was one of the saddest ways…for anybody to go, especially kids,” Martin said. “It really hurts when kids are involved.”

Dozens of people stopped by the area asking questions and were heartbroken to hear the news.

“This sucks,” said Quamekia Shavers, who lives in the neighborhood. “That’s all you can say. This sucks. Three kids are gone, and there’s really no way that you’ll actually know why.”

People who saw the yellow crime scene tape go up said they never would’ve guessed this would be the reason police were in their neighborhood.

“You don’t imagine it will happen or that it would be that close,” Shavers said.

More from FOX8

North Carolina News

See the latest North Carolina news

“They seemed to be happy, normal kids,” he said.

FOX8 has learned the three children were not enrolled in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Neighbors said they were homeschooled.

This remains an active investigation.