Philippine Daily Inquirer
8 relatives in Ohio shot in the head
PIKETON, Ohio—Eight members of a family, including a mother sleeping in a bed with her four-day-old baby next to her, were fatally shot in the head on Friday, leaving their rural town reeling while a search was launched for whoever’s responsible.
Three children, including the newborn, survived the grisly killings, which left seven adults and a teenage boy dead in four homes in Pike County, said Attorney General Mike DeWine and County Sheriff Charles Reader. The economically distressed county in the Appalachian Mountain region has 28,000 residents and is 130 miles east of Cincinnati.
DeWine said there were no indications any of the dead killed themselves, and Reader said if the shooter or shooters were at large, they should be considered armed and “extremely dangerous.”
“There may be more than one, there may be three. We just don’t know at this point,” DeWine said.
Some of the victims were in bed, indicating they were shot while they were sleeping, authorities said. The victims were identified as members of the Rhoden family, but their names weren’t released.
“It’s heartbreaking,” DeWine said. “The one mom was killed in her bed with the four-day-old right there.” Besides the infant, a six-month-old and 3-year-old also survived unhurt, authorities said.
Law enforcement officials said they met with relatives of the victims at a church on Friday night and death notifications were being made to other relatives. They said more than 30 people had been interviewed as part of their investigation.
A motive isn’t clear, authorities said, but they urged other members of the Rhoden family to take precautions. Authorities said it appeared that the family was targeted and that there was no specific threat to the community, but Reader advised area residents to lock their doors and stay alert on Friday night.