Mom allegedly kills 4 children: Grandmother of 7-year-old survivor speaks out

A community gathered Saturday evening at the Greens at Irene apartment complex in Memphis, Tennessee, to remember the four children allegedly stabbed to death by their mother Friday.

Shanynthia Gardner has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the killings of her four youngest children. However, her oldest child, a 7-year-old, was able to escape before potentially becoming the fifth victim.

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The lone child survivor’s grandmother, Sonya Clayton, was at the vigil and spoke with WHBQ about the emotions she’s feeling, especially knowing her grandson, Dallen Clayton, had to witness such a tragedy at the place he called home.

"I'm still shocked, in disbelief," Clayton said.

>> RELATED STORY: Mother charged in fatal stabbing of 4 of her children

Clayton said the woman who is accused of killing her own children isn't the woman she considered her daughter-in-law at one time.

“That was a beautiful sweet young lady,” Clayton said, talking about the Shanynthia Gardner she remembers. “What happened? I don't know. I know Shanynthia – this is the work of the devil.”

The well-being of Dallen is a mystery at this point, according Clayton. However, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the child is in a safe place.

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"I want Dallen, I need Dallen,” Clayton told WHBQ. “I need to know what's going with Dallen. They are giving us the run around – I don't understand.

"I know this is not Shanynthia, and I pray (for) and love Shanynthia wholeheartedly still. I'm praying for her," Clayton said.

– Visit WHBQ for the latest on this developing story.