TYRONE, Mo. (KMOX) – UPDATED (4:28 P.M.) – Authorities say a man who may have been unhinged by the death of his ailing mother went on a house-to-house shooting rampage in a small town in the Missouri Ozarks, killing seven people before taking his own life.
Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker tells KMOX News it appears the rampage began after the 36-year-old shooter found his mother dead, “most likely’ of natural causes, in their home in the enclave of Tyrone.
The eight people shot were four couples ranging in age from the early-40s to the mid-60s.
Four of the victims have been identified as Garold Dee Aldridge, 52; Julie Ann Aldridge, 47; Harold Wayne Aldridge, 50; and Janell Arlisa Aldridge, 48.
Three victims’ names are not yet being released pending notification of next of kin.
The shooter, identified as Joseph Jesse Aldridge, is believed to be a cousin of the named victims, and the son of Alice L. Aldridge, 74. Although her cause of death appears to be of natural causes, a post-mortem examination will be performed Saturday.
One woman survived, but with severe wounds. She is expected to be OK, said Texas County Sheriff James Sigman at an afternoon news conference.
All of the victims’ residences are located within a three-mile radius in Tyrone. There were no signs of forced entry in any of the homes, Sigman said.
“Start locking your doors. The world is changing,” he said at the news conference.
Tyrone is a small unincorporated community 166 miles southwest of St. Louis.
Officers have cleared from the six crime scenes, according to a news release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The investigation continues by the Highway Patrol and the Texas County Sheriff’s Department.
A 36-year-old resident of Tyrone in Texas County apparently took seven lives before shooting himself to death late Thursday night.
The bodies were found in multiple sites after authorities responded to a call from a a girl who knocked on a neighbor’s door seeking assistance because someone was shooting people in their home.
A ninth person – an elderly woman – was later found to have died of natural causes.
Two were found dead in one residence. Five more were found dead and one wounded in three other homes.
The gunman was found dead in neighboring Shannon County.
The highway patrol is not sure about the relationship of the shooter and victims.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon released the following statement regarding the shooting deaths in Texas County:
“This is a horrific tragedy, and our hearts go out to the victims of these senseless acts and their families,” Gov. Nixon said. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been on site and assisting local law enforcement since the initial call late last night and will continue to assist local law enforcement agencies. Our Department of Mental Health has also contacted the local community mental health center to ensure that crisis intervention services will be provided to students in the area, and that counseling and other services will continue to be available to citizens in need. I ask all Missourians to join us in sending thoughts and prayers to the victims, their families and loved ones.”
A news release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol included the following information:
At approximately 10:15 p.m., the Texas County Sheriff’s Department requested assistance with a disturbance involving a weapon at a home in Tyrone.
A juvenile female caller indicated she was in the residence and heard gunshots. She fled to a neighbor’s house to notify authorities.
Responding deputies found two dead at this residence. Five additional victims were found dead, with one additional wounded victim in three additional Tyrone residences. The injured victim was taken to a nearby hospital.
Another home revealed the body of a deceased elderly female who appeared to have died from natural causes.
The apparent suspect, a 36-year-old male from Tyrone, was found dead in a vehicle at a location in Shannon County from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The investigation is continuing by the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control.
Any information the public might have regarding this case can be forwarded to the Texas County Sheriff’s Department at 417-967-4165 or the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop G Headquarters at 417 469-3121.
Our previous reporting is as follows:
Nine people are reportedly dead in a south-central Missouri county.
The investigation is taking place in the tiny Texas County community of Tyrone, according to Houston Herald publisher Brad Gentry.
Tyrone is 166 miles southwest of St. Louis.
“Texas County Sheriff James Sigman reported that he thinks there are nine fatalities,” Gentry said.
Gentry added that he’s been told there are at least four different crime scenes, and potentially a fifth.
KMOX News is waiting for fresh details from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which has taken over the investigation.
KMOX News and kmox.com will have more on this story throughout the morning.
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