COPLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio, Aug. 8 (UPI) — Shocked residents of Copley Township, Ohio, were trying to learn why a man opened fire and killed seven people before dying in a shootout with police.
“Why [would] such evil would come to our little township, Lord? Why [do] we have to endure through that and why [is it] these families are affected in such a way?” the Rev. Jeff Bogue asked Sunday during a vigil at a park hours just after the rampage.
Bogue asked the 300 people attending the candlelight gathering to pray for the victims and the community, as well as law enforcement personnel “who have been through so much,” the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal reported.
Police said the shootings occurred Sunday morning in at least four locations in Copley Township, about 40 miles south of Cleveland. Police shot and killed the suspect, who has not been identified, after he shot at law enforcement officers.
While police haven’t offered a motive or released the names of the victims, a witness to the shooting, along with neighbors and friends said some of the victims were members of one family and the gunman was a longtime boyfriend of the aunt of one of the victims, the Beacon Journal said.
Township resident Diane Comely said she didn’t know any of the victims, but wanted to attend the vigil.
“You wonder about people in general, period, because you don’t know. You just don’t know,” she said, calling the shooting “a complete and utter shock.”