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Eight members of the same family killed in a shooting in Ohio

Published 22/04/2016

Eight people have been found dead following a shooting in Ohio, it has been reported.

US broadcaster CNN has reported that the eight victims were members of the same family and had been shot in the head "execution style," most while they slept.

It is believed that three children survived the attack.

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said that the killer or killers may still be on the loose.

"I am still actively looking for a shooter," Mr Reader told a press conference on Friday.

"I cannot confirm that there is no one on the loose who is not involved with this. If he is, he's armed and dangerous."

More than a dozen officials from multiple agencies were sent to crime scenes in Piketon, south of Columbus.

A pastor at the scene said the violence may have been the result of a "domestic situation".

Mr Reader named the family involved in the tragedy as the Rhoden family.

Police have not determined a motive or identified the dead, and have not determined whether the killer is among the deceased.

All of the victims were found in homes along Union Hill Road in Pike County. The Pike County Sheriff said there are four active crime scenes spanning about 30 miles (48km).

Ohio Attorney General Mike Mike DeWine said it is possible some of the victims were shot overnight because they were found in their beds.

"One mom was apparently killed in her bed with [the four-day-old child] right there," said Mr DeWine. "It's hard to believe."

Authorities do not believe any of the deaths were suicides and are urging residents of the county to come forward with any information they might have.

Local schools Peebles Elementary and Peebles High School were earlier on "lockout" - no-one went in or out - due to the ongoing situation in Piketon, a spokesperson for Adams County Ohio Valley Schools said.

The FBI in Cincinnati tweeted that they are "closely monitoring the situation".

Ohio Governor John Kasich and Republican presidential candidate tweeted that the situation is "tragic beyond comprehension".

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From Belfast Telegraph