A gunman has killed 8 people and injured one person in a series of shootings in south-central Missouri.
Police made the discoveries on February 26 at five different homes in or near the small town of Tyrone after an emergency call.
Officials found the suspect dead of a self-inflicted gun wound in a vehicle near one of the crime scenes.
The gunman’s motive is not known at this time, and police are continuing to investigate.
“We’re currently working six active scenes including the location in Shannon County where the suspect was found deceased, “ Sergeant Jeff Kinder of the Missouri State Highway Patrol told reporters on February 27.
Residents reported that police went door-to-door on February 27 warning them to secure their homes.
Around 22:15 local time on February 26, officers from the Texas County Sheriff’s Department responded to an emergency call from a girl claiming she heard gunshots in a home.
The girl fled to a neighbor’s house to alert the authorities. Police found two people dead in the house.
As they continued searching, they found six others dead and one injured across four other residences.
“This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the victims of these senseless acts and their families,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said in a statement.
The body of the suspect, who has only been identified as a 36-year-old man from Tyrone, was discovered in vehicle in nearby Shannon County. He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Officials have made multiple references to a woman found at one of the scenes “who appeared to have died from natural causes”. However, they have not made clear her connection to the victims or the suspect.
Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker told The St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper the suspect’s mother had been found dead at her home, apparently of natural causes.
She had been under a doctor’s care and appeared to have been dead for at least 24 hours, Tom Whittaker told the newspaper, adding all the victims were adults.
Authorities took the injured victim to a nearby hospital, but will not be identifying the victims until they notify next-of-kin.
Residents of the rural area were in shock.
“We’ve never had anything of this magnitude before,” said County Clerk Don Troutman, a resident of 36 years.
Scott Dill, superintendent of the school district that serves Tyrone, said the community was “holding our breath…to find out specifics”.
“We want to help people make sense of this tragedy,” Scott Dill said.
[youtube Y0lQsnmYrog 650]