Officials said five people, including a gunman who appeared to have committed suicide, were killed in gunfire at two locations in northeastern Kentucky.
The police received a 911 call around 4 pm. Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price said in a statement that the shooting was at a country house near Paintsville, about 160 miles (260 km) southeast of Louisville.
In the statement, Price said officers found two people dead in the house and then began searching for the shooter. The statement said that a second call to 911 led the deputies and police to an apartment in the city of Paintsville, where three people were found shot dead, including the gunman.
“It was a horrific killing spree,” Price said. “There are no words to describe the grief at seeing four souls killed for the actions of one man. I’ve been in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen.”
Officials identified the gunman as Joseph Nickel, but no further information was provided about him.
The victims were identified on Sunday by Kentucky State Police the suspect’s mother, Arlene Nickel and his father, James Nickel, were killed in a country house. His girlfriend, Lindsey Vanhoose, and her mother, Patricia Vanhoose, were also killed in the apartment in Paintsville.
The shooting came about three weeks after the state was hit by gunfire at a high school in Benton, in which one Taliban was killed and 18 students were injured by a colleague who remains in detention.