Victims identified in 'savage' murder in upstate New York

TROY, New York (WABC) -- Authorities in Troy, New York have identified the 2 women and 2 children killed in what the police chief called the worst act of "savagery" he's seen in four decades on the job.

The bodies were discovered in a basement apartment , near Albany, Tuesday afternoon.

Troy police on Thursday identified the victims as 36-year-old Shanta Myers; her children, 11-year-old Jeremiah Myers and 5-year-old Shanise Myers; and Myers' lover, 22-year-old Brandi Mells.

Shakera Symes, sister of Shanta Myers, told Spectrum News in Albany that she's now raising Myers' 15-year-old son, who has been staying with her for two months. She said the whole family is heartbroken over the brutal crime.

"It's going to devastate us for a very, very long time," Symes said Thursday. "And to have to raise the oldest, knowing he lost his entire family that day ... that's not a job that's going to be easy for me."

Troy Police Chief John Tedesco told ABC News that these killings were act of "savagery."

"The emotions of a police officer are something you repress because there is a job to be done," Tedesco said, adding that no one involved in this case will ever forget it.

He declined to say how the victims were killed, but assured the public there was no imminent danger as it appears the victims were targeted.

"People are very nervous, very concerned that the person who did this crime is still loose," said the Rev. Jackie Robinson, a member of the city's African American Pastoral Alliance. "We're talking about organizing a meeting and inviting the whole community to come and share their concerns, with counselors to try to relieve people of stress and anxiety."

Victory Christian Church of Albany offered a $5,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

The Troy City School District, partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, planned to offer grief counseling Friday morning at Troy Middle School.
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