12 Mar 2009

11 killed in rural Alabama

5:25 am on 12 March 2009

A man in Alabama has shot and killed 10 people, including his mother, before killing himself after a gunbattle with police on a rural highway.

Michael McLendon, 27, who lived with his mother, killed five of his victims at a mobile home in Samson, in southeastern Alabama on Tuesday.

The victims at the mobile home included the wife of a local deputy sheriff and her child.

He also killed two people at a convenience store and a man in a pickup truck while firing at random during a car chase. Others were his grandmother and uncle.

The website of the Dothan Eagle newspaper quoted Coffee County District Attorney Gary McAliley as saying he was armed with pistols and assault rifles.

The shootings began in Kinston, a small town in Coffee County, and continued to Samson.

Rural southeastern Alabama, which borders Florida, is a largely agricultural area with many low-income families.