Five people, including a suspect, are dead after a string of killings Saturday in northeast Kentucky, authorities said.
Deputies in Johnson County, Ky., found two bodies in a home, then in the search for the suspect, Joseph Nickell, two additional people were found dead. Deputies say Nickell committed suicide.
"This has been a horrific murder spree," said Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price. "There are no words to describe the heartbreak in seeing four lives taken due to the actions of one man. I have worked in law enforcement for 34 years. This is one of the most disturbing acts of violence I have ever seen."
Deputies got a call about 3:30 p.m. about a shooting in a rural home near the city of Paintsville, Ky. After responding, they found two people who had been shot and killed in the kitchen, according to the Johnson County Sheriff's Office.
A witness identified the suspect as Nickell and gave a description of the car he fled in, deputies said.
Authorities throughout the area were on alert and cautioned that Nickell was armed and dangerous.
A 911 call about the car led deputies to a second home in Paintsville where they found two other people dead in an apartment. Nickell also was found dead as a result of suicide, Price said.
Paintsville is about 164 miles southeast of Louisville and 74 miles southwest of Charleston, W.V.
No information about a motive was released. None of the victims were immediately identified.
Price said deputies are continuing to investigate and asked for prayers for the families of the victims.
Follow Christal Hayes on Twitter: Journo_Christal