Police in Ohio have launched a manhunt for whoever shot and killed eight members of the same family at four different locations yesterday. More than 30 people in the rural Pike County area of southern Ohio have been interviewed so far, as investigators search for answers over the murders of seven adults and a 16-year-old boy.
Each of the victims was shot in the head at some point on Friday, police have revealed. Some of them apparently killed while they slept – including one mother, whose four day-old baby was nearby. The baby and two other young children were not hurt.
None of the deaths appears to be suicide, and police confirmed they are on the lookout for at least one attacker who police are considering armed and dangerous. No motive for the killings is yet known.
The bodies were found in three homes within a couple miles of one another, on a secluded stretch of road near the village of Piketon in the eastern state. The eighth body, that of a man, was found on another property further away. The deceased were all part of the Rhoden family, though individual names have not yet been released. Authorities are urging other members of the family to be extra wary.
The deceased were all part of the Rhoden family, though individual names have not yet been released. Authorities are urging other members of the family to be extra wary.
"This really is a question of public safety, and particularly for any of the Rhoden family," Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is currently on the campaign trail in Connecticut in a bid to become Republican presidential nominee, told press that his office was monitoring the search for the culprit or culprits.
"But we'll find them, we'll catch them and they'll be brought to justice," he said.
Pike County is about 80 miles east of the major Ohio city of Cincinnati. A around 28,000 people live there – more than a quarter below the US poverty line. They live in the shadow of a Cold War uranium plant still in the process of being decommissioned.
Second mass shooting
This is the second mass shooting in the US within 24 hours. On 22 April, five people were shot and killed in Georgia. The suspected gunman committed suicide.
According to the Gun Violence Archive there have been 78 mass shootings – public shootings which have led to at least 4 people being killed or injured – were recorded since 1 January 2016. Fatalities were recorded at 50 of those shootings .