HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — Three people found shot to death outside a home in rural central Kansas were targeted and not victims of a murder-suicide, an investigator said Monday.
Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said the victims found Sunday were a 37-year-old woman and two men aged 33 and 52. The two younger victims were a couple who were friends with the other man, the sheriff said without releasing their names.
The assailant “isn’t a random person running around. We view this as a targeted shooting,” Walton said during a news conference Monday morning, adding that “we’re working this as a triple homicide.”
Walton said a passing motorist reported the killings after she said she was waved down by another driver in a maroon car and told two bodies were outside the home. Deputies ultimately found the three bodies, as well as the slain couple’s unharmed, crying 18-month-old inside the residence, Walton said.
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The maroon vehicle’s driver had a relationship with one of the victims, Walton said, without elaborating.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which is assisting in the investigation, said in a statement that the maroon vehicle was found later at an undisclosed location, though it was not immediately clear if that driver was located and questioned.
Walton said there was no evidence that the victims died during a struggle, and neighbors in the rural area where houses are separated by considerable distances did not report hearing any gunshots or witness any disturbances.
The rescued toddler is now in the custody of relatives, Walton said.
There has been no word about arrests or charges.