Nine people have been found dead after a shooting spree in the US state of Missouri, authorities say.
Bodies were discovered at multiple crime scenes in a rural town in Texas County.
The suspected gunman was believed to be among the dead. The 36-year-old man was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a parked vehicle in Shannon County, according to police.
Police confirmed that seven of the victims died of gunshot wounds, but said the ninth body, belonging to an elderly woman, appeared to have died from natural causes.
Texas County Sheriff James Signman told the Houston Herald on Friday that at least four crime scenes were involved in the shootings around the unincorporated community of Tyrone and possibly others outside of the county.
Troopers and deputies mobilized in the area, and authorities were knocking on doors at 3:45 am Friday, the newspaper said.
Officials have instructed staff at the Houston School District, near Tyrone, to arrive early for counseling sessions, the Herald reported. They did not elaborate why the measures were being taken.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol has set up a mobile command post to investigate the incident.
Authorities held a press conference at the Texas County Justice Center in Houston on Friday morning.
“In our job we see a lot of bad stuff, and this is bad,” Sgt. Jeff Kinder, a spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said at the press conference. “This is hard on the police officers out there. I’m sure they were as shocked as a lot of the people were.”
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