8 shot to death, including gunman, in US shooting spree

  • AP, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Updated: Feb 28, 2015 01:39 IST

A gunman killed seven people and wounded an eighth in an overnight house-to-house rampage in a small Missouri town before apparently committing suicide, authorities said on Friday.

The victims were found in four homes in Tyrone, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of the Arkansas line.

The 36-year-old gunman was discovered in a neighboring county, dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kinder said.

Kinder gave no information on a motive for the shootings or whether the gunman and the victims were connected.

The names of the dead were being withheld until their relatives could be notified.

"This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the victims of these senseless acts and their families," Gov. Jay Nixon said. He said crisis counseling will be made available to students and others.

The sheriff's office received a call about 10:15pm on Thursday from a young woman who said she had fled to a neighbor's home after hearing gunshots in her house, Kinder said.

When officers arrived, they found two people dead. Officers later found five more people dead and one wounded in three other homes. The wounded person was taken to a hospital; the victim's condition was not disclosed.

The body of an older woman was found in another home, but she appeared to have died of natural causes, Kinder said, adding, "We're not calling her a victim at this time."

Tyrone is in largely rural Texas County, where the scenic rivers and woods draw canoeists, trout fishermen and deer hunters. The area has seen an exodus of shoe and garment factories over the decades, along with a drop in dairy and poultry farms, County Clerk Don Troutman said.

Troutman described Tyrone as little more than a pocket of houses. A couple of general stores are long gone, and the one-room schoolhouse has been converted to a community building, he said. "There's not even a stop sign there," said Troutman, a lifelong Texas County resident who has been clerk for 36 years.

He said of the bloodshed: "We've never had anything of this magnitude before. It's a shock." Scott Dill, superintendent of the school district that serves Tyrone, called the area "bucolic" and beautiful, and added, "We are holding our breath as a community to find out specifics." "We want to help people make sense of this tragedy," he said.

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