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Suspect arrested after shooting left 4 people dead in Ohio

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Police investigate a shooting Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Butler Township, Ohio. (Photo by AP)

The suspect in the fatal shootings of four people near Dayton, Ohio, has been taken into custody, authorities say.

The shootings happened on Friday in Montgomery County’s Butler Township, a small town, nine miles north of Dayton.

According to police, the four victims were found with gunshot wounds at “multiple crime scenes.” The victims were all pronounced dead at the scene, Butler Township Police Chief John Porter said.

The suspect, identified as Stephen Marlow, was taken into custody Saturday night in Lawrence, Kansas, 640 miles away from the scene, according to Porter.

Marlow had gotten off probation in February on aggravated burglary and aggravated menacing charges stemming from a July 2019 incident in the Dayton suburb of Vandalia, Montgomery County court records show.

Police also said that there was no information indicating "others were involved in these horrific acts.” 

The four victims, identified as 82-year-old Clyde Knox, 78-year-old Eva Knox, 41-year-old Sarah Anderson and a 15-year-old Kayla Anderson, lived in separate homes near the home owned by Marlow’s parents.

The police said it wasn’t immediately clear what led to the shooting.

“We are working to determine if there is any motive to this horrible tragedy or if mental illness played any role,” Porter said, calling the shooting “the first violent crime in this neighborhood in recent memory.”

This comes after another shooting left four Muslim men dead in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city.

The shooting has been described by the local police as likely linked to the victims' faith and race.

The surge in gun violence in the US comes as firearm purchases rose to record levels in 2020 and 2021. The rate of gun deaths hit the highest level since 1995, with more than 45,000 fatalities each year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection organization.

Frequent mass shootings in the United States prompted President Joe Biden to sign a gun safety bill that Congress swiftly passed in response to recent shooting massacres, notably one at Uvalde, Texas, elementary school and another at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket.

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