4 slain in Ohio; suspect dies in police shootout

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Four people were found dead in a rural Ohio home Saturday, three police officers were wounded, and a fourth person was injured all within a span of about 30 minutes that ended with a police shootout and the death of a man police suspect was responsible for the bloody mayhem.

Randle Lee Roberts II, 27, whose hometown police did not provide, was killed in the shootout about a half hour after a young girl found the bodies of her relatives in a home near West Union in southern Ohio.

Adams County Sheriff Kim Rogers told The Columbus Dispatch the girl did not know her relatives were dead, but knew something was wrong and alerted a neighbor. County authorities later alerted officers in central Ohio that the suspect had a wife who lived in Columbus, Rogers said.

The names of the four dead were not released, and the sheriff has not said when or how they died.

Police in Columbus were responding to two calls about shots fired into homes when an officer spotted and pursued a vehicle matching a description given by the callers, Sgt. Rich Weiner said. The driver crashed the two-tone pickup truck in a residential neighborhood, fired at the officer and ran, evading authorities for more than 10 minutes before the shootout erupted about 11 a.m., Weiner said.

Officers learned after the shootout that Roberts was suspected in the quadruple slayings.

“We’re confident that everybody that was involved with this incident is accounted for,” Weiner said.

By Saturday afternoon, an injured officer had left the hospital. Another was expected to be released, also Saturday. A third remained hospitalized in stable condition with a serious but not life-threatening injury, Weiner said.

A man related to Roberts was hospitalized with injuries that were not life-threatening. Police did not say how he was related to the suspect. He was not charged.

An autopsy for Roberts was planned for this week.

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