Eight family members are dead in the rural town of Peebles, Ohio in what appeared to be “execution-style killings” Friday.
Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader and Attorney General Mike DeWine updated the public on Friday on the mass shootings, confirming that seven adults and a 16-year-old boy were dead and that three children aged four days to three years survived the incident.
Sheriff Reader also said police currently have no one in custody, but anyone believed to be involved in the shootings are considered armed and dangerous.
“Right now we have no one in custody,” Reader said. “I want to urge everyone to be under the understanding that there is a strong possibility that any individuals involved with this are armed and extremely dangerous.”
WATCH: 8 people confirmed dead in Ohio mass shootings: Pike County sheriff
Attorney General DeWine said that the victims are believed to be from the same family and were killed execution style.
“This is a horrible tragedy,” DeWine said. “Each one of the victims appears to have been executed. Each one of the victims appears to have been shot in the head.”
Sheriff Reader offered his condolences to the family targeted in the shootings.
“We have identified the victims as being members of the Rhoden family. My thoughts and prayers go out to them,” Reader said.
The victims were found in four different homes on the same rural road. The 8th victim was found early Friday afternoon, the AG’s office said in a statement.
WATCH: ‘Each one of the victims appears to have been executed’: Ohio attorney general
According to ABC News affiliate WCPO Cincinnati, officers first responded to a home in the small town located about 130 kilometres south of Columbus.
“The mail carrier told me there’s something seriously bad going on up the road,” resident Goldie Holderbran told WCPO.
A local pastor told WCPO, that the shootings were “very out of character for our community, but with the ways of the world, the way things are going, I guess maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. But we are. This is so tragic.”
With files from Global News