Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

Gunman shoots seven after 'row'

Police officers leave the scene of a multiple fatal shooting in Copley Township, Ohio (AP/Akron Beacon Journal, Karen Schiely)
A mourner wipes away tears during a prayer vigil at Copley Community Park after a gunman killed seven in Copley Township, Ohio (AP)

A man went on a US neighbourhood shooting rampage, killing seven and leaving victims in three homes before being shot dead in a gunfight with a police officer and a former officer.

Police in Copley, Ohio, said the man was in one house with several others on Sunday when he shot his girlfriend, then ran to a neighbouring home and shot her brother and four other people.

Investigators say he then chased two bystanders through back gardens, shooting one outside a home, before entering another house and shooting one person there. He was killed after he left the home.

Seven of the man's victims died and one was taken to hospital. Police did not release names or additional information about the victims.

Neighbour Gilbert Elie was getting ready for church when he heard gunshots. He went outside and found a woman in a driveway who been shot, a man shot near a garage, and a woman and girl in a vehicle who were wounded, he said.

Then a woman came out of the house next door and tried to talk to Mr Elie, he said, but her boyfriend followed and shot her. Mr Elie ran for safety behind a lorry and did not see what happened next.

The names and ages of the victims and the gunman were not being released until police could tell family members, some of whom were out of state, said Sgt Eric Goodwin.

Sgt Goodwin did not know the conditions of the wounded. Investigators were "still putting things together" as they worked at the crime scenes, he said.

Jeff Kirby, 53, of nearby Norton, said he was visiting his mother's home a block from the shootings around 10.30am when he heard gunfire - about 15 shots with several pauses between them. He said the last gunfire he heard occurred about the same time he heard sirens in the neighbourhood.

Later on Sunday, about 200 people assembled at a park in Copley at around sunset for an impromptu candlelight vigil for the victims. The Rev Jeff Bogue of the Grace Church of Greater Akron prayed at the vigil, saying it was troubling that "such evil would come to our little township".

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