- The Washington Times - Monday, May 30, 2005

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (AP) — An 18-year-old who was about to graduate from high school is thought to have fatally shot his grandparents, mother and two family friends before killing himself, authorities said yesterday.

Logan County Sheriff Michael Henry said he was not sure whether authorities would find out why Scott Moody fired the shots early Sunday morning, “but we’re going to try.” The rampage at neighboring farmhouses came just hours after a party to celebrate the pending graduation.

Moody’s younger sister was wounded and was in critical condition yesterday.

Sheriff Henry identified the victims as Moody’s grandparents Sharyl Shafer, 66, and Gary Shafer, 67, who were found dead in one farmhouse; and Moody’s mother, Sheri Shafer, 37, and two friends, Megan Karus, 19, and Paige Harshbarger, 14. They were found dead in the other home with the survivor, 15-year-old Stacy Moody, and the body of Scott Moody.

The victims were shot with a .22-caliber rifle, Sheriff Henry said.

He also said Stacy Moody called a friend on her cell phone and the friend then called authorities at 10:46 a.m. Sunday.

Scott Moody and Miss Karus were to have graduated Sunday afternoon from Riverside High School in nearby De Graff, the sheriff’s office said. The school held commencement as scheduled, and school officials announced the shootings to the crowd afterward.

The two farmhouses are about a quarter-mile apart along a two-lane state route northwest of Columbus, and the same family owns both, authorities said. Fields where corn and soybeans are grown surround the white-paneled, two-story homes, each of which was marked with a “no trespassing” sign.

Detectives were interviewing friends and family members of the victims. “I’ve being doing this for 35 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Logan County Sheriff’s Lt. Chuck Stout said.

People in the community of 13,000 drifted in and out of the sheriff’s office, hugging and crying, throughout the afternoon.

“Dealing with a small community like this, everyone knows everyone,” the sheriff said.

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