JACKSON, Ohio (AP) — Two boys found fatally shot in a southern Ohio home were half brothers who lived together, and investigators don’t believe anyone else was involved in the deaths, authorities said Thursday.
Jackson City Police identified the boys as a 12-year-old Austin Wiseman and 9-year-old Blake Campbell. Police said they lived at their grandparents’ home, where the shootings occurred Wednesday in an upstairs bedroom.
Authorities have said that the grandparents were away at the time of the deaths, and that a .44-caliber handgun was recovered.
The boys’ bodies were taken to Franklin County, some 65 miles north in Columbus, for autopsies, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was examining evidence collected from the home as authorities tried to determine what happened.
A man at the home who identified himself as an uncle said he no comment Thursday afternoon. The two-story house is set back slightly from the road in an older neighborhood with a mix of residential houses and businesses.
Jackson County coroner Dr. Gregory P. Hawker told The Associated Press on Thursday that he couldn’t comment on what might have led to the shootings, but authorities say no one else was at home at the time.
There was no suspicion that anyone else was involved, but any shooting must be treated as a potential homicide until investigation rules that out, Hawker said. He said full investigation results might not be known for six weeks or more.
The boys were found Wednesday morning.
Hawker said the grandparents had left the home to take care of some personal business but had talked to the boys by phone at about 10 a.m. It’s believed the shootings happened at about 11 a.m.
Authorities didn’t release the grandparents’ names immediately.
Jackson is a city of about 7,000 people in mostly rural Appalachian Ohio.
“Our community is deeply saddened by this tragedy and our sympathies go out to all those who have been affected,” Police Chief Carl Eisnaugle said in a statement.
Associated Press writer Dan Sewell contributed in Cincinnati.