A family argument turned into a real life drama after eight people were shot dead yesterday, with the youngest victim aged 11.

A man first gunned down five people, then opened fire again and killed two more including his girlfriend and her brother nearby before being shot by the police, according to the authorities.

The shooting rampage - which was apparently sparked by a domestic dispute took place in the usually quiet neighbourhood of Copley, south of Cleveland.

Police say they do not have a motive and have not yet released the names or ages of the gunman or the victims.

The shootings began about 11am local time on Sunday and the police received reports of "a person running through the neighbourhood and firing a gun", the local police department said in a statement late Sunday.

Copley Police Chief Michael Mier told reporters that five people were found shot dead outside one house, two people were killed at two other locations, and the gunman was killed elsewhere.

"Our job is extremely complicated right now because we have four scenes that we're processing," he said at a press conference.

"We understand that at some point in time the shooter was chasing somebody."

One of the man's victims was taken to a hospital, but the person's condition was not known on Sunday evening.

Brian Poe, Copley high school superintendent told the press that two of those killed were local high school students.

"This sends an absolute shock through the community," Poe said.

"One of the most difficult things to deal with is the senselessness of this. It's not easy when anyone is killed, but particularly youth."

About 200 people held a solemn candlelight vigil for the victims in a local park on Sunday evening while the streets where the shooting took place remained blocked off by police.

Copeland, which is located about 60 kilometres south of Cleveland, has a population of 14,000.