The Dothan Eagle reports on March 10th:
Friends and neighbors living on Wise Street in Samson say they won’t sleep tonight after witnessing a shooting spree by a man who one person said was a “cool guy.”
Alina Knowles, who was moving into a house with her husband close to where seven people were gunned down, described the bloody scene.
“You want to talk about a horrific scene,” she said. “You see what I saw. I went to get the baby (who lived there). There was blood all over that porch. The baby was covered in her mother’s blood.”
Knowles and friend Barry Applin said they witnessed six people shot to death, including a sheriff’s deputy’s wife and child.
Knowles gave the Dothan Eagle the names of the victims, but those are being withheld pending official notification.
Police have now identified the man behind Tuesday's deadly south Alabama shooting spree. Police say Michael McLendon of Kinston went on a two county rampage before turning the gun on himself, says WSFA 12 News.
The Coffee County coroner said McLendon started his day off with bloodshed at the Kinston area home owned by his mother; a home he ended up burning to the ground. The mother's body was still inside the house Tuesday evening, but Coroner Robert Preachers said officials had not been able to enter the house to determine if she was shot. It's also believed McClendon's girlfriend was killed inside the home.
The body count now stands at twelve, including the gunman. Others citizens and law enforcment officers were wounded as McClendon drove though town firing shots at anyone in his path. Alabama gunman Michael McLendon also killed 4 dogs.
The man's shooting spree covered two counties (Coffee and Geneva) and targeted people in the town of Kinston and the cities of Samson and Geneva in extreme southeast Alabama.
Victim identities and a motive remain unknown. Preachers confirmed that several other victims of the gunman were related to him including McLendon's grandparents, an aunt and an uncle. Investigators tell WSFA 12 News the victims ranged in age from 18 months to 74-years-old.
Col. Chris Murphy held an evening news conference at the Alabama State Troopers post in Montgomery to provide details. Murphy called the day's events "one of the worst tragedies in recent memory."
Murphy said Governor Bob Riley was briefed on the situation, and he spoke with area mayors a short time later. Riley promised state resources to help those local municipalities deal with the aftermath. (Note: Wednesday morning news conference now planned. WSFA 12 News will have coverage.)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and many other agencies continue to work multiple crime scenes.
Murphy told media outlets that four adults and one child were found dead inside of one house, and one body was found at each of two other houses in the Samson area.
Investigators said McLendon drove down Highway 52 where he fired at least seven times on a state trooper vehicle. The trooper was wounded by broken glass.
He then drove to the Samson Pipe and Supply Company on Highway 52 where he gunned down another victim. Afterwards, he took aim at an innocent civilian at a local service station in the same area. That victim also died of their wounds.
Geneva police then began a pursuit of the suspect's vehicle, chasing McLendon to the Reliable Metal Products company in Geneva. Officials later confirmed he had been a former employee of the company, but the reasons for his leaving the company were not immediately know.
On there, officials said the man fired at least a 30 round burst of ammunition at the city police chief before running inside the business. The police chief was grazed by gunfire but was wearing a bullet-proof vest.
A short time later investigators said they heard shots inside the building, and when they entered the business they found the man dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Law enforcement agencies say they are investigating a series of shootings in south Alabama that left 12 people dead, including the gunman.
Samson Police Chief Gary Weeks said the suspect was also killed, apparently by a self-inflicted gunshot near the Reliable Metal Products company outside Geneva.
"I heard five shots to my right, and then I looked up and saw a maroon Eclipse speed off from the scene, then I saw deputies and troopers in pursuit after him,” eyewitness Soleta Darden said. "I was just scared, crazy scared. I thought, ‘What the crap is going on."
WSFA 12 News has confirmed through the Geneva Police Department that there has been a shooting at the Reliable Metal Products company in Geneva and other shootings in Samson.
The gunman started firing at a gas station in Samson, shooting a woman there.
The Alabama Department of Safety says at least four shootings by a single gunman left people dead before he killed himself.
The department says in a statement that the shootings began late Tuesday afternoon in Samson. Other victims were at a home off of Highway 52. The shooter killed five people in one home and one each in two other homes.
The gunman then shot at a state trooper's car, striking the vehicle seven times and wounding the trooper with broken glass.
The towns of Geneva and Samson are about 11 miles apart, and roughly 30 miles south of Fort Rucker, near the Florida border in southeast Alabama. Geneva's population is about 4,400 and Samson, 2,000.
Reliable Metal Products makes grills and vents for heating and AC systems, mainly for hotels.