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'We were devastated': Family members identify the three children killed in Italy, Texas stabbings

The paternal grandmother of 6-year-old Legend Chapell says he was one of the children killed in Italy, Texas. She told WFAA she tried to gain custody of him.

ITALY, Texas — As the small town of Italy, Texas, continues to grieve over the deaths of three children at a local home, family members are speaking out over the tragic incident.

Three children -- a 6-year-old and two 5-year-old twins -- were stabbed to death on Friday, and their mother, 25-year-old Shamaiya Hall, is accused in their killings. A 4-year-old and a 13-month-old baby were also injured and flown to nearby hospitals.

Sources with Child Protective Services told WFAA that Hall allegedly stabbed her children when a CPS worker, who suspected the mother was having unsupervised visitations with her children, arrived at the scene to check on her unannounced. The agency confirmed the five children were siblings.

Hall was booked into the Wayne McCollum Detention Center on three counts of capital murder.

While the three children who were killed have not yet been officially identified, family members are sharing their names with WFAA.

Paternal grandmother Latanya Reese identified the 6-year-old victim as Legend Chapell.

"When I got the phone call about my grandson Legend, we were devastated. We still are," Reese said. "I've been trying not to be angry."

The Martin family, relatives of the 5-year-old twins on their paternal side, identified the twins as Aliyah and Ayden Martin. Aliyah and Ayden were Legend's half-siblings. 

Credit: Family photo
Aliyah and Ayden Martin

Hall will likely face more charges, but it's currently unclear what those charges could be.

The children had been previously placed by CPS under the guardianship of another relative.

Reese told WFAA she tried to get custody of Legend several times but was unsuccessful. 

"I wish I would’ve been able to save Legend," Reese said. "I think about, what could I have done different? I don’t know. I would’ve done anything."

CPS said it could not release further details about the two surviving children or their current conditions. 

"I want justice for Legend. I am not gonna rest until they pay for what they did. It’s not right. I'm tired of crying about it. I'm ready to fight about it," Reese said. "They weren't just taken from our family, they was taken from the community, from the schools, from their friends."

Reese told WFAA that Legend loved Spider-Man and the Los Angeles Lakers. He wanted to be a professional boxer when he grew up and told his grandmother that he loved going to school because it's where he felt like he could be himself. 

According to Reese, Legend and his twin half-siblings will be buried together.

An online fundraising campaign was set up to cover funeral costs for Legend.

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