8 killed in Ohio massacre; shooter may be loose

Posted at 8:24 AM, Apr 22, 2016

Eight people were killed in a series of "execution style" shootings in rural Ohio on Friday morning. The shooter may still be on the loose, according to the Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader. 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said  that seven adults and one juveniles were killed. Their bodies were found at four separate locations on a single road in Pike County.

Among those killed was a mother, who was in bed with her four-day-old baby. The infant was not injured. The victims were believed to have been in bed at the time of the shootings. 

"Each one appeared to have been executed, shot in the head," DeWine said. 

Officials believe that one family, the Rhoden family, was being targeted by the suspect or suspects. Law enforcement said it was contacting other members of the Rhoden family to check on their wellbeing. 

DeWine said the shooter may still be loose on Friday afternoon. "We believe [the assailant] is probably loose somewhere," he said.

"What makes this particularly grisly, you have 3 children who were there when the executions took place,"DeWine added.

Officials are warning residents that a potential suspect would be armed and dangerous. DeWine added that none of the eight killed were believed to have committed suicide. 

He also said several children were found alive at one of the scenes and were removed by law enforcement.

Three different crime scenes were being investigated in the area surrounding a home near Peebles, according to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, where seven bodies were found. A fourth crime scene was opened when an eighth body was discovered on Friday afternoon.

DeWine said 30 Ohio BCI officials are assisting local officials in the investigation.

Reader said that deputies were dispatched at 7:53 a.m. to one of the scenes. As deputies reached the first crime scene, law enforcement were informed of two other crime scenes. 

The various crime scenes were scattered along a single road and included a barn and a pole barn, according to aerial helicopter views of the sprawling scene.

The Ohio Attorney General's office said they were working to figure out if the shooter was among the dead or on the loose. Investigators at the scenes did not appear to be actively pursuing a suspect.

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich tweeted about the incident on Friday morning.

A nearby high school and elementary school were put on alert as a precautionary measure. The schools weren't allowing anyone in or out but classes continued.

Peebles is located about 75 miles east of Cincinnati.