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Missouri Rampage Victims Were Killed in Bedrooms

Shooter just walked into houses, coroner says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2015 2:21 AM CST
Missouri Rampage Victims Were Killed in Bedrooms
Tape is placed on one of the doors of a home near Tyrone, Mo., on Friday morning, Feb. 27, 2015.    (AP Photo/The Springfield News-Leader, Nathan Papes)

(Newser) – Investigators aren't sure they will ever know what sparked Joseph Aldridge's deadly rampage in Missouri—but it's clear the seven people he allegedly shot to death in four houses had no idea what was coming. "There were no signs of forced entry, and he apparently just walked in," the county coroner tells the Houston Herald. "There were three scenes where the husband and wife were both killed in the bedroom. At the fourth scene, those people were up and actually answered the door." Aldridge, who was found dead in his pickup truck 25 miles away from the shootings, served time in prison after a 2008 arrest for possessing a firearm while using marijuana and had only minor drug-related brushes with the law in recent years, USA Today reports.

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Four of the victims in the tiny, unincorporated town of Tyrone have been identified as cousins of the 36-year-old, and a man related to the three other victims tells the AP that he had heard Aldridge asked one of them "for a job and didn't get it, but we don't know that for sure." Police believe the Thursday night rampage began after the gunman found his mother dead, and an autopsy has confirmed that she died of natural causes, the coroner tells NBC. The pastor at a nearby church tells the AP that he knew most of the victims, and they were hardworking people who didn't hesitate to help others. "They liked being in that small, rural environment in which everybody knew everybody and many of them were related to one another," he says. (Read more Missouri stories.)

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