3 relatives found shot dead, another critically stabbed in 2 homes in southeast Ohio


IRONTON, Ohio — Three people were found fatally shot and a fourth person was discovered stabbed and critically wounded at a pair of residences in southeast Ohio.

Officials were also hunting for 23-year-old Aaron Lawson, whom they called a “person of interest” in the attacks.


Aaron Lawson

Lawrence County Ohio Sheriff”s Office via WKBN

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 about a quarter mile away at the residence of a relative of the shooting victims. That person was flown to a hospital in Huntington, West Virginia.

Authorities in Ohio had initially issued a missing child alert for an 8-year-old boy who couldn”t be located after a search of the area. The child has since been found safe and the alert was canceled, reports CBS affiliate WBNS.

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.

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. Deputies chased Lawson before he crashed his vehicle into a ditch and ran into the woods, the sheriff said.

None of the dead or injured has been publicly identified. The sheriff”s office said 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.

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. 

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

A spokeswoman for the Ohio attorney general”s office said Thursday that investigators have no indication of a connection between the cases.

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