Authorities identify victims shot to death in burning Alabama house

Authorities identified six of the seven victims found shot to death Friday in a burning Alabama house known to deputies for past calls over drugs, robberies and other disturbances.

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.


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