PIKE COUNTY, OH (WKBN and WCMH) — Authorities say a killer of eight in Ohio is believed to be at large and should be considered armed and dangerous.
The shooting is the deadliest in the state and the deadliest shooting so far this year in the country.
Deputies were called to Union Hill Road, near the Pike and Adams county line, where two men were reportedly covered in blood. While responding, officers were flagged down to two other addresses on the road, according to investigators.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office said seven adults and one 16-year-old were found, shot execution-style, at four crime scenes near Piketon, Ohio along Union Hill Road. In addition, three children, ages four days to three years old, were found alive.
All eight people are members of the Rhoden family, according to Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader. The crime scene is in a 30-mile area, and other members of the family could be taken into protective custody, he said.
During a Friday night press conference, Reader said investigators have interviewed 30 people in relation to the crime and believe the Rhoden family was specifically targeted.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine added that there is no specific threat to the public, although he considered the killer or killers armed and dangerous. He said two of the crime scenes are within walking distance of one another, and some of the victims were in bed during the shootings.
“The one mom, apparently, was killed in bed with the 4-day-old right there,” he said.
There is no indication that the killings were committed by one of the deceased, he said.
The Attorney General’s Office is leading the investigation and is asking for tips from the public. The investigation is expected to continue into the night.
Pike County is 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.
No one has been arrested yet.
The FBI in Cincinnati said it is “closely monitoring” the situation and has offered assistance to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, if needed.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader are requesting that anyone with information regarding the eight individuals found deceased in Pike County to call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 740-947-2111.
PHOTOS: Multiple people killed in Pike County
PHOTOS: Multiple people killed in Pike County x
WCMH contributed to this report.