Missouri law enforcement officials on Friday identified the man they said killed seven people and wounded one other in a shooting spree overnight before killing himself in a rural part of the state.
Joseph Jesse Aldridge, 36, shot and killed several family members at multiple locations in Tyrone, Mo., according to Texas County (Missouri) Sheriff James Sigman. The victims included two married couples, all of whom were cousins of the shooter, officials said.
Aldridge was reportedly found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot in the middle of a highway in his GMC pickup truck.
The body of Aldridge’s elderly mother, Alice Aldridge, was also found by investigators, but her death was believed to have been due to natural causes.
Joseph Aldridge reportedly had a minor criminal record and lived with his mother for “quite some time.” However, Sigman said he couldn’t specify whether the death of Aldridge’s mother had triggered the shooting rampage and added that officials were still attempting to determine a motive.
Sigman said some of the victims’ homes were located within a 3-mile radius of the shooter’s. He said there are about 50 people who live in the immediate area of the shootings and noted that it’s a very small community.
The four victims who were identified were Gerold Aldridge, 52, his wife, Julie Ann Aldridge, 47; as well as Harold Aldridge, 50, and wife Janell Aldridge, 48.
The names of the other three victims weren’t released, but Sigman said they weren’t related to Aldridge. However, he wouldn’t specify whether they were related to one another.
Sigman would not identify the one victim who had been wounded or where she was shot, but said she was expected to survive. He noted that officials had obtained information about the incident from the wounded person.
Sigman said officers weren’t able to determine the sequence of the shootings but noted that all of the shootings were committed with one handgun. According to Sigman, there was additional ammunition found at the scene.