Officials are still trying to identify the shooter at large, which is a dangerous situation for the public. Stay armed and alert.
The horrific massacre of eight family members in Pike County, Ohio on Friday has rocked the small community as investigators are still frantically searching for one or more shooters responsible.
The dead have been identified as members of the Rhoden family. Authorities spoke to 100 of their relatives and friends gathered at a church on Friday.
The victims, seven adults and a 16-year-old boy, were found dead at four homes along Union Hill Road, prompting authorities to believe they might be chasing three or more shooters.
According to the Morning Ledger, five members of the family have been identified: recent father and husband-to-be Frankie Rhoden and his 20-year-old fiancee Hannah Hazel Gilley, young mother Hanna May Rhoden, grandmother-to-be Dana Lynn Rhoden, 37, and 16-year-old Chris Rhoden.
Authorities have interviewed more than 30 people at this time and will talk to more of them as the investigation continues, Attorney General Mike DeWine said during a news conference Friday evening.
‘We will continue until the case is solved. We do not know whether we’re talking about one individual or two or three or more,’ DeWine added.
No person of interest had been apprehended and investigators are looking at different theories.
They believe the killers targeted the family specifically, and DeWine said there was no indication of a threat towards the rest of the community.
However Sheriff Charles Reader said: ‘There is a threat and I believe that threat to be armed and dangerous.’
The rest of the family has been in touch with the sheriff’s office for their protection.
Ohio governor and presidential candidate John Kasich was ‘very concerned’ about the shooting and requested a briefing, DeWine said.
‘We just couldn’t believe it. When the governor and I talked I think he was still in shock about it,’ he added. ‘It’s not something you expect to find in any place in the state of Ohio, it’s certainly not something you expect to find in Pike County.’
Kasich said his office was monitoring the situation in Pike County while he spent the day campaigning in Pennsylvania for his Republican presidential bid.
‘Reports we are receiving from Peebles are tragic beyond comprehension,’ Kasich wrote on his Twitter account.
In addition, there were no indications that any of the dead had killed themselves, DeWine said.
‘We have a murder – or murderers – who have done this,’ he added.
Thirty officers were dispatched, including 13 road deputies, Reader said. The FBI remains available and has not been involved directly at this time.
DeWine noted that it’s unclear how long the investigation will last, but they will continue to work until the person or persons responsible are found.
‘We’re coming,’ Reader said. ‘When this investigation is complete it’s going to point us into the direction we need to go and we will find who did this.’
Eight members of the Rhoden family, including a mother sleeping in a bed with her four-day-old baby next to her, were all fatally shot in the head early Friday morning.
Some of the victims were in bed, indicating they were shot while they were sleeping, authorities said, adding that some, not all, were killed in bed.
The four-day-old, a six-month-old and a three-year-old child survived the grisly killings. Reader wouldn’t say where the three surviving children were taken on Friday.