Eight members of the Rhoden family, who lived in a rural area in southern Ohio, were shot sometime during the night on Thursday, leaving three survivors.

Authorities say the murders took place at four different locations, and the victims were all shot “execution style,” most in their sleep. CNN reports that Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader believes the community at large is safe, but all surviving members of the Rhoden family are being given protection:

“We have a specific family that’s been targeted but I don’t think there’s been a threat to any other members of the community... I’ve given the family precautionary measures to make. They know we’re available.”

The victims were seven adults and one 16-year-old male. One mother was shot next to her 4-day-old baby, who survived, as well as a 6-month-old and 3-year-old child.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich responded to the case on Twitter:

The village where the murders took place has a population of around 2,000, and is set in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. Authorities aren’t sure if there was more than one assailant, but they say civilians should consider any potential suspects armed and dangerous, warning people to lock their doors. A statement from the family reads:

The Rhoden family would like to thank everyone for all of the outpouring of prayers and support for their family... They asked that you continue to keep them in your prayers. They want to thank all of law enforcement from Pike County and surrounding counties for their immediate response - especially sheriff Charlie Reader, the Pike County sheriff - for all of his hard work.

Screenshot via CNN.


Contact the author at aimee.lutkin@jezebel.com.