US & Canada

Four dead in shooting at US nursing home

Police have moved the nursing home residents in order to analyse the crime scene Image copyright ABC
Image caption Police have moved the nursing home residents in order to analyse the crime scene

Three people and the suspected gunman have been found dead after a shooting at a nursing home in Ohio.

Kirkersville police Chief Steven Eric Disario, 36 - only recently appointed - was among the dead, his deputies told US media.

Two employees were found dead inside the Pine Kirk Care Center, and Disario was found outside the building.

The authorities have not given a motive for the shooting, and have not identified the other victims.

It is unclear if the gunman killed himself or whether he had a relationship with any of the victims.

Disario had only taken over the job about three weeks ago, Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp told reporters on Friday afternoon.

He had six children, and one more "on the way", Mr Thorp said, adding that "it's a real hard day for all of us".

Image copyright ABC
Image caption Flowers were placed outside the police headquarters

"It's just a tragic event," Mr Thorp said, adding that Disario had been responding to reports of a man with a gun when he was shot around 08:00 local time.

"I believe the last radio transmission we had from (Disario) was that he had the subject in sight," he said.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the accused shooter took two hostages in an alley, but both were released unharmed.

The 23 residents of the nursing home, who barricaded themselves inside during the shooting, have been moved so that investigators can analyse the crime scene.

Kirkersville is a small village about 25 miles (40km) outside Columbus, the capital of Ohio.

A primary school near the shooting scene was placed on lockdown, and classes were later cancelled for the day.

Governor John Kasich has taken to Twitter to pay his condolences, also ordering that flags at the state capitol fly at half-mast.

"Ohio mourns the loss of Kirkersville Chief Eric Disario, who died in the line of duty," he wrote, adding "blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God".