PIKETON, Ohio — Southern Ohio residents were urged to lock their doors Friday night after eight family members were fatally shot “execution style,” including a mother slain while her 4-day-old child lay in bed beside her, authorities said.
That child, along with a 6-month-old and a 3-year-old, survived the killings at four crime scenes, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said at a press conference.
“I am still actively looking for a shooter,” Reader said.
Seven were killed in three homes in Pike County, a rural community about 80 miles east of Cincinnati, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader said. All are believed to be members of the same family.
An eighth person was found dead later Friday at a fourth location, but authorities didn’t specify it was an adult or child or say how the person was killed.
The situation is not being treated as an active shooting and no arrests have been made, the attorney general’s statement said.
Pastor Phil Fulton of Union Hill Church told WLWT the situation was “very out of character” for the community.
“It’s a tragedy,” he said.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation. It sent more than a dozen agents to assist the Pike County Sheriff’s Office after the request for help came in at 8:21 a.m.
Schools in Pike County and surrounding counties were on lockdown earlier Friday as a precautionary measure, WLWT reported. They were “back to normal” by Friday afternoon, Adams County Ohio Valley Local School Superintendent Richard Seas told WLWT.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich called the situation “beyond comprehension” and said the state is working with local law enforcement.