The shooter or shooters responsible for the massacre remained at large early Saturday.
Morgan County deputies responding to a call of a shooting at a home in Valhermoso Springs discovered the bodies after putting out the fire, authorities said.
The victims were identified as William Zane Hodgin, 18, of Sommerville; Roger Lee Jones Jr., 19, of Decatur; Emily Brooke Payne, 21, of Valhermoso Springs; Jeramy Wade Roberts, 31, of Athens and Tammy England Muzzey, 45.
A 17-year-old young woman was identified but her name has not been released; a pet dog was also found shot dead in a crime scene that stunned local officials.
“It is a horrific scene and to be able to process it will take some time,” Mike Swafford, a spokesman with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, said.
The sheriff’s office believes tragedy could have been drug-related; officials knew the ranch-style home from receiving several 911 calls to the home for troubles over the years.
“Our theory right now is whoever did this, came in here for a reason, did it and left,” he said.
Authorities are looking into the possibility of the killings being drug-related, Swafford said.
The investigation is ongoing, with assistance from the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.