Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, carried out the killings with a .45-caliber handgun Thursday night or early Friday at four houses in Tyrone, the no-stoplight neighborhood of about 50 folks where he lived with his mother, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.
Aldridge was discovered dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound ahead of dawn in a running pickup truck on the middle of a highway 15 or 20 miles away.
The patrol mentioned 4 of the dead — two couples — have been cousins of Aldridge’s, ranging in age from 47 to 52. The names of the rest of the dead — and an eighth victim who was wounded but expected to survive — had been becoming withheld until relatives could be notified.
All the victims have been adults and were gunned down inside a couple of miles of a single an additional.
Authorities mentioned the motive was unclear and no suicide note was located. But as the investigation unfolded, they discovered Aldridge’s 74-year-old mother dead, apparently of all-natural causes, on a couch at her residence, officials said.
She had been under a doctor’s care and appeared to have been dead at least 24 hours, Texas County Coroner Tom Whittaker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Whittaker speculated that the son “came dwelling and identified her deceased and then for whatever purpose went on a rampage and started killing people.”
Around town, Aldridge was described as a recluse, and it was unclear what, if something, he did for a living.
The killings traumatized Tryone, a town about 40 miles from the Arkansas line exactly where quite a few residents are associated to 1 one more, Sheriff James Sigman said. He said the final homicide in the county was a year and a half ago.
“Commence locking your doors,” the sheriff stated. “The world’s changing. You’ve got to be protected.”
The sheriff’s office learned of the attack when it got a contact about ten:15 p.m. Thursday from a young woman who stated she had fled to a neighbor’s home soon after hearing gunshots in her property.
The neighbor, who refused to give his name, told The Connected Press that the teenage girl was barefoot and clad only in a nightgown when she came operating across a snow-covered field complete of thickets that left her legs reduce up.
“She was crying so really hard, but I finally got out of her ‘My mom and dad have been shot,'” the neighbor stated.
When officers arrived at the girl’s home, they found two people today dead. Authorities later found 5 more persons dead and one wounded in 3 other houses. The wounded person was hospitalized in undisclosed condition.
Sheriff’s officers did a residence-by-house sweep to make sure there have been no more bodies.
John W. Shriver, 72, of Tyrone, stated he discovered the bodies of two of the victims right after obtaining a contact Thursday evening from a screaming relative who had been wounded in a shooting that killed her husband. Shriver mentioned he discovered a man and his wife unresponsive on their bedroom floor and alerted law enforcement.
Shriver said the couple’s 13-year-old son slept through the killings and that he took the teen to his household after the bodies had been identified.
“Everyone is kind of just dazed I’d guess you’d say,” said Shriver, adding the killer “didn’t have significantly to do with folks” and “kind of stayed to himself.”
The patrol identified some of the dead as Garold Dee Aldridge, 52 his 47-year-old wife, Julie Ann Aldridge Harold Wayne Aldridge, 50 and that man’s wife, 48-year-old Janell Arlisa Aldridge.
Tyrone is in largely rural Texas County, exactly where the scenic rivers and woods draw canoeists, trout fishermen and deer hunters. The location has observed an exodus of shoe and garment factories more than the decades, along with a drop in dairy and poultry farms, County Clerk Don Troutman mentioned.
Set along a narrow, two-lane highway in a remote, hilly stretch, Tyrone consists of a pocket of mobile homes and other little homes but small else, with no restaurants or shops. A couple of basic shops are long gone, and the one particular-room schoolhouse has been converted into a community developing, Troutman mentioned.
“There is not even a stop sign there,” stated Troutman, who has been clerk for 36 years. He said of the bloodshed: “We’ve in no way had something of this magnitude prior to. It really is a shock.”