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Authorities: Alabama shooter kills 10 and himself

  Family members of victims of a shooting rampage comfort each other outside a home on Pullum Street in Samson, Ala. on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A cor...
 ADDS detail map; Map locates Samson and other key spots in Tuesday�s deadly shootings, Ala., where 10 people were killed in shootings1c x 3 3/4 inche...
 Geneva, Ala., Mayor Winnton Malton, left, and Samson, Ala., Mayor Clay King speak with members of the media gathered outside a Samson, Ala., home ear...

APTOPIX South Alabama Shootings

Family members of victims of a shooting rampage comfort each other outside a home on Pullum Street in Samson, Ala. on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. A cor...

ALABAMA SHOOTINGS 2

ADDS detail map; Map locates Samson and other key spots in Tuesday�s deadly shootings, Ala., where 10 people were killed in shootings1c x 3 3/4 inche...

South Alabama Shootings

Geneva, Ala., Mayor Winnton Malton, left, and Samson, Ala., Mayor Clay King speak with members of the media gathered outside a Samson, Ala., home ear...

A gunman killed 10 people and himself in an hour-long rampage that left his mother, grandmother and other relatives dead, as well as the wife and daughters of a law enforcement officer who was trying to chase him down.
Authorites said Wednesday they do not know what set Michael McLendon off on his Tuesday afternoon killing spree.
First, McLendon set his mother's house on fire and killed her, then drove 12 miles (19 kilometers) and opened fire on his uncle's front porch, killing five more people and his grandmother, who lived next door, authorities said.
Then, he drove through town and fired seemingly at random, killing three more people. With police in pursuit, he ended up at the metals plant where he once worked, and shot himself after engaging in a shootout with law enforcement officers.
Three of the people struck on the porch of his uncle's house were the wife and two daughters of Geneva County Deputy Josh Myers, who was one of the law enforcement officers involved in the chase.
Myers' family, who lived across the street from the gunman's relatives, was visiting the home when the gunfire erupted. Only one of the children, a 4-month old-girl, survived and was in stable condition after being flown to a hospital across the border in Florida.
"I've been here 30 years, this is the worst thing that's ever happened in this community," Geneva County Sheriff Greg Ward said at a news conference Wednesday morning. "We have lost friends here in our community. It's going to take a while before we can get over it."
McLendon was briefly employed by the police department in Samson in 2003 but failed to complete the academy, Alabama Bureau of Investigation Chief Jerry Connor said. More recently, he worked nearly two years at food manufacturer and distributor Kelley Foods in Elba, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of where he shot most of his victims. He quit the job days before the deadly spree.
The relatives who were killed were identified as McLendon's mother; his uncle; his cousin; a second cousin; and his grandmother.
"I cried so much yesterday, I don't have a tear left in me," Myers, who did not know McClendon, said. "I feel like I should be able to walk in the house and my wife would be there, my baby girl climbing on me."
The shooting comes three years after the worst mass shooting in modern American history. Student Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people and himself on the campus of Virginia Tech university in April 2007.
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Associated Press Writers Garry Mitchell in Mobile and Bob Johnson in Montgomery contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-03-06 08:14 GMT+08:00