4 dead after standoff in southeast Ohio

January 10, 2012 - 7:35 AM

LOGAN, Ohio (AP) — A family dispute ended when a man apparently shot and killed his wife's two sisters and his son before fatally shooting himself, authorities said.

A relative said the man dealing with the stress of caring for a wife with a terminal illness.

Deputies who stormed a home around 9 p.m. Monday found the man dead on the front porch and the three other bodies on the living room floor, Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North said.

Officers had been waiting for hours since being called about a possible hostage situation at the house near Logan, about 50 miles southeast of Columbus. A person who had been held hostage had been able to flee, the sheriff told reporters.

"There was some type of a squabble among family members, not sure what that was about, that led to the altercations," North said.

Keith Gilkey, of Hickman, Ky., told The Columbus Dispatch the shooter was his 63-year-old brother who was stressed over caring for his terminally ill wife and that there was friction over regular visits by her family members.

"He was under a lot of pressure," Gilkey said.

Multiple media outlets reported that the wife, who has cancer, was at the home and was not shot. Another man, who identified himself as a cousin of the gunman, said he talked to the wife shortly after the shooting.

"She said, 'He shot everybody out here,'" Matthew Henderson told the Logan Daily News.

A sheriff's dispatcher said Tuesday morning he had no information on the names of victims and the shooter.

The killings have rocked the area, Sheriff North said.

"This is normally a pretty quiet county. We have a few major crimes occasionally but nothing of this magnitude," he said.