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Spree killer takes 10 lives in Alabama

GENEVA, Ala. (BP)–Ten people died March 10 when a lone gunman in Geneva County, Ala., went on a shooting spree that began with the murder of his mother. The shooter, identified as Michael McLendon, 27, turned a gun on himself after a car chase involving local law enforcement.

The rampage began in Kinston, Ala., where the gunman’s mother was found dead inside her burning house in Kinston, according to the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle newspaper. McLendon then drove to nearby Samson, where he killed four adults and a 1-year-old child at one house and two other people at nearby homes in the same neighborhood. A 3-month-old infant also was injured in the shootings. The dead reportedly included two of McLendon’s grandparents, an aunt and an uncle.

McLendon then apparently went on a random shooting spree through Samson, killing two people at local businesses. McLendon then apparently drove to Geneva, where law enforcement officers gave chase and exchanged gunfire with him. The Geneva police chief was shot in the shoulder before McLendon took his own life.

The children and one of the adults killed by McLendon apparently were relatives of a Geneva County sheriff’s deputy involved in pursuing McLendon, the Eagle reported. The deputy reportedly did not know his family had been attacked until after McLendon had killed himself.

Law enforcement has established at least 10 crime scenes in connection with the rampage, the Eagle reported. Identities of the victims have not been officially released, pending family notifications.

McClendon’s motive in the shooting spree is not yet known. A contact with the Geneva Baptist Association by The Alabama Baptist newspaper indicated none of the victims were known to be members of Southern Baptist churches in the area.
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.

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