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'We're truly thankful they made an arrest': Family of slain St. Louis mom and daughter relieved man is in custody

"After I heard police arrested someone, all I could do is cry and say thank you Jesus," said the mother of Terri Bankhead

ST. LOUIS — "It's the worst time of my life. I couldn't do nothing but cry after I heard about the arrest and say thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord," said Terri Ward, the mother of Terri Bankhead.

Ward is overwhelmed with unimaginable grief as she mourns her daughter, 27-year-old Terri Bankhead, and her only grandchild, 8-year-old Da'Nilya Edwards.

"It's just so unreal. Well, now I have a little relief because they caught him," said Ward as she held back tears.

"We're truly thankful that they made an arrest in this case," added Tarana Miller, Bankhead's aunt.

Prinshun McClain was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree burglary and four counts of armed criminal action in connection with the deadly shootings. Police believe he's also responsible for the fatal shooting of another woman in south city late Tuesday night.

READ ALSO: Suspect arrested, charged in murders of 3 people in St. Louis including mother and daughter

Credit: Granite City Police Department
Prinshun McClain

The investigation into Bankhead and Da'Nilya's deaths started Wednesday afternoon when Ward made the heartbreaking discoveries.

She told police she found her daughter and granddaughter both tied up with rope and shot multiple times inside Bankhead's home near Pleasant and Penrose streets in north St. Louis.

Ward told 5 On Your Side her loved ones were lying in her daughter's upstairs, front bedroom. She also said her daughter suffered a gunshot wound to her lower jaw.

Her granddaughter was a second grader and would've celebrated her ninth birthday next month.

"Our children should be able to grow up in the community without being victimized by anyone," said Miller's aunt.

Credit: Provided photo
Family members identified the shooting victims as 27-year-old Terri Bankhead and her 8-year-old daughter Da’Nilya Edwards.

Sources told 5 On Your Side McClain lived in an adjoining apartment near where Bankhead and her daughter lived for fewer than six months.

When a 5 On Your Side crew stopped by the suspect's residence Thursday, a woman would not confirm if the man actually stayed there and she asked our reporter and photographer to leave.

Meanwhile, Bankhead's grief-stricken mom has many questions.

"We don't really know anything about that man. We don't know if he lived there or not or who he was. My daughter didn't really know him," Ward said. "I will get justice."

Ward also told 5 On Your Side that after finding her daughter and granddaughter deceased, she ran out of their home, kept screaming and yelled to the 18-year-old suspect to call 911. She told police the man stayed at the scene "even after my other daughter and I went down to the police department to talk to detectives."

"We also want to thank St. Louis for all their prayers and thank the police officers for making a quick arrest," added Miller.

On Friday, the family plans to hold a prayer vigil and a balloon release near the scene of the double-homicide. 

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