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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 12, 2017 10:40 am

3 people fatally shot in southern Ohio, 8-year-old missing

Associated Press


IRONTON, Ohio – Three people were found fatally shot, a fourth person was stabbed and critically wounded, and authorities in southeast Ohio searched Thursday for a missing 8-year-old boy.

Officials are also searching for a 23-year-old man in connection with the attacks.

Deputies found the bodies of three adults in a house trailer in an unincorporated area of Lawrence County at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office said. A fourth adult was found stabbed in the head and neck at the residence of a relative of the shooting victims, about a quarter mile away and was flown to a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia.

The missing boy, Devin Holston, lived at the second residence. Lawrence County Sheriff Jeffery Lawless told the Ironton Tribune that investigators haven't determined whether the boy was at the home during the attack. He wasn't found during a search of the area.

Lawless told the newspaper that all those involved were "related in some way."

Around 12:30 a.m. Thursday, deputies spotted Lawson in a blue truck in Ironton, about 15 miles south of where the victims were found, the sheriff said. The pursuit lasted less than half a mile before Lawson crashed into a ditch and ran into the woods, the sheriff said.

None of the dead or injured has been identified. The sheriff's office said in a statement that releasing further information would compromise the investigation. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is assisting Lawrence County in the investigation.

Lawless said schools in the Rock Hill district are closed Thursday because of the attacks.

Ironton is about 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Columbus.

The initial report about the slayings  violence against multiple people found at trailers belonging to related residents – recalled details from a still-unsolved homicide case that rattled rural southern Ohio last year. A spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general's office said Thursday that investigators have no indication of a connection between the cases.

The deaths on Wednesday occurred roughly 40 miles southeast of the Piketon area, where eight people from the Rhoden family were found shot to death in four homes in April 2016.