US: Nine dead after Missouri mass murder

Washington: Nine people are dead following a mass murder in rural Missouri in which the suspected gunman took his own life, police in the Midwestern state said today.

With an investigation still underway, it appeared that seven people were shot and killed in four different residences in the small town of Tyrone.

An eighth person, described as an elderly woman, was found dead in a fifth house, apparently "from natural causes," the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Her relationship with the gunman and the victims was not immediately disclosed.

"The apparent suspect, a 36-year-old male from Tyrone, was found dead in a vehicle... in (neighbouring) Shannon County from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," added police spokesman Sergeant Jeff Kinder.

"There are a total of nine deceased individuals, including the elderly female and the suspect," he told a press conference in Houston, the county seat.

No names were released pending notification of next of kin.

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