DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Four people were fatally shot in an Ohio neighborhood, authorities said Saturday as they searched for a man believed to be armed and dangerous.
Butler Township Police in Montgomery County said officers were called to the area shortly before noon Friday to a report of gunfire. Chief John Porter said four victims with gunshot wounds were found at “several crime scenes”. All were pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said they were looking for Stephen Marlow, 39, who they believe fled the area in an SUV. They warned anyone who sees him or the vehicle to call 911 “and not approach him as he is still likely to be armed and dangerous.”
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office identified the victims on Saturday as Clyde Knox, 82, Eva Knox, 78, Sarah Anderson, 41, and an unnamed 15-year-old girl.
Porter said police do not believe there is an ongoing threat to the neighborhood, but officers will remain in the area in case he returns. He said it was not immediately clear what led to the shooting. The Dayton Daily News reported that the four victims lived in separate houses near the house belonging to Marlow’s parents.
“We are working to determine if there is a motive for this horrific tragedy or if mental illness played a role,” Porter said. He called the shooting “the first violent crime in this neighborhood in recent memory.”
The FBI Field Office in Cincinnati said it was part of the investigation and noted that Marlow had ties to Indianapolis, Chicago and Lexington, Kentucky, “and could be in any of those cities.”
The Dayton Daily News reported that Marlow left probation in February on aggravated burglary and aggravated threatening charges stemming from a July 2019 incident in the Dayton suburb of Vandalia, according to Montgomery County court records.
Vandalia on Saturday closed a number of public spaces as a precaution following the shooting, including the recreation center, the Kassel Hills golf course and swimming pool and the city’s senior center, the newspaper reported.
Court documents do not mention an attorney representing Marlow; a message seeking comment was left on Saturday at a number listed in his name.
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