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8 dead, including deputy sheriff, in shooting in Mississippi

BROOKHAVEN, Mississippi — A suspected gunman is in custody after eight people, including a sheriff’s deputy, were killed in a shooting, according to authorities in Mississippi.

Mississippi Bureau of Investigation spokesman Warren Strain said the shootings occurred at three separate homes Saturday night in rural Lincoln County.

A Lincoln County sheriff’s deputy is among the dead.

Charges have not yet been filed against the suspected shooter, Strain says, adding that it would be “premature” to discuss a motive.

It was not clear whether the gunman knew his victims before allegedly killing them.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has decried the killings, which took place in a rural area about 60 miles south of Jackson.

Bryant asked for all of the state’s residents to join him and his wife in praying for those who were killed.

He noted the “sacrifice” made by law enforcement officers to protect and serve their communities.