8 dead after shootings in Pike County, Ohio; whereabouts of suspect unknown

(WCMH)

PIKE COUNTY, OH (WCMH) —Police are responding to multiple scenes near the Pike and Adams county line where at least eight people are dead.

Law enforcement sources tell NBC4 there are a total of four scenes near Piketon, Ohio along Union Hill Road. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office said seven of the victims were shot execution-style. According to the Pike County Sheriff, three children survived the shootings. The attorney general later confirmed that a 4-day-old child was found in the bed with their slain mother, and the other survivors were children at the ages of six months and three years.

According to the attorney general, the crime scene is not expected to be fully processed until tomorrow. His office and investigators have interviewed over 30 people at this point, but the suspect is not a threat to the community, and the Sheriff’s office believes that all of the crime scenes have been found.

“All of the victims are believed to possibly be members of the same family, and they were found in three Union Hill Road homes in Piketon.

Early indications are that the victims, who are believed to be five adults and two juveniles, were shot to death.

This is not an active shooter situation, however no arrests have been made.  The investigation is in its very early stages, and authorities are still investigating to determine a motive, identify the deceased, and determine if the gunman is among the deceased individuals or on the loose.”

DeWine’s office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. Spokesman Dan Tierney says the Pike County sheriff’s office requested state help at 8:20 a.m.

Tierney had no information on whether a suspect was in custody. Agents headed to the scene included members of Criminal Intelligence, Cyber Crimes and Special Investigations.

FBI in Cincinnati said it is “closely monitoring” the situation and has offered assistance to the Pike County sheriff’s office if needed.

The Pike County prosecutor is also on location. Western Local Schools, including Peebles High School, are on a semi-lock down due to the investigation. That means no students are allowed outside and doors are locked. The district released the following statement:

We’ve had lots of calls regarding the incident that happened this morning on Union Hill. The incident was in the Scioto Valley District and was on the south side of 32, not the north side (our side). THERE HAS NOT BEEN AN INCIDENT AT WESTERN. We have been in contact with the Sheriff’s Department and we are operating with precaution. We are having classes but no students are permitted outside for recess, PE, etc. We are keeping all students inside and doors are locked as always. We are taking precautions to make sure your kids are safe. We are following the procedures suggested by Sheriff Reader. I will update you as soon as I have more information.

Waverly City Schools took similar precautions and released the following statement:

In response to the situation that occurred in Western Pike County today, we wanted to notify our parents that Sheriff Reader has ensured us that there are no threats to any school in the Waverly City School District. I will send any further updates if necessary.

Union Hill Road runs off Ohio 32 at the county line.

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