- Associated Press - Friday, April 22, 2016

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say at least seven people were shot dead in “execution-style killings” Friday at three homes along a rural Ohio road.

Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported, but details on the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren’t immediately clear.

The attorney general’s office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. Spokesman Dan Tierney said the Pike County sheriff’s office requested state help at 8:20 a.m.

Tierney had no information on whether a suspect was in custody.

BCI spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said there are multiple crime scenes along the same road in a rural area west of the village of Piketon.

TV reports from the scene said a staging area has been set up with ambulances and fire personnel.

Gov. John Kasich, campaigning in Pennsylvania for his Republican presidential bid, said his office was monitoring the situation in Pike County.

“Reports we are receiving from Peebles are tragic beyond comprehension,” Kasich wrote on his Twitter account.

The FBI in Cincinnati also said it was closely monitoring the situation and has offered assistance to the Pike County sheriff’s office if needed.

Peebles High School imposed a precautionary lockout Friday morning after authorities notified the superintendent of shootings that had occurred a few miles away, according to Regina Bennington, secretary to the superintendent for the Adams County Ohio Valley Schools district.

High school officials said the school was back to normal operations later Friday morning.

Piketon is the site of a Cold War-era uranium plant that was closed in 2001 and is still being cleaned up.


Associated Press writers Dan Sewell and Lisa Cornwell contributed to this report from Cincinnati.

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