Pike County Ohio Shootings: Prayer Service Set For Victims As Manhunt Continues

A community prayer service has been set for the victims of the Pike County Ohio mass shooting. The service will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Union Hill Church, the Dayton Daily News reports.

Nearly 100 people came to the Sunday morning services at the church where the evening service will be held. Pastor Phil Fulton said the morning service was filled with prayers for the victims and for police to find the gunman or gunmen, and he spoke to the congregation, urging them to keep the family in their thoughts and prayers.

“Eight precious souls went out to meet the Lord. If that would have been you, where would you be in eternity? Eternity’s just a breath away. These past few days it’s been a stressful time. Keep this family in prayer and pray that they find those who committed this crime.”

At the Dogwood Festival in Piketon, the victims were remembered by a close friend of the Rhoden family who decorated a Jeep with photos and roses and included a donation box. Orange ribbons have been placed throughout the town in memory of 16-year-old Christopher Rhoden Jr., the youngest murder victim. There’s also a small memorial honoring all of the victims at the intersection of Ohio 32 and Union Hill Road.

In a statement on Saturday, the Rhoden family asked the community to keep them in their prayers and “that everyone be respectful of their family of their loss at this time.” The family also asked for anyone with information concerning the Pike County shootings to call state authorities.

Ohio residents in Pike County have been shaken up by the tragedy that unfolded in their community. Looking for answers amid their fears, they’ve been cautioned to remain vigilant and keep their doors locked as the shooter or shooters have not yet been found.

Resident Vanessa Mullins said, “I’m scared, because they haven’t caught them yet. They annihilated a whole family.”

Cody Grooms and Megan Throckmorton worked on Saturday at Gary’s Discount Outlet, a store in Piketon. The couple drives 45 minutes north for their job. Throckmorton admitted she’s worried that the Pike County shooters haven’t been caught.

“You don’t know where this person — or people — are,” she said. “That’s worrisome in itself.”

Donnie Oliver, a resident of Pike County, Ohio for over 50 years, told NBC Columbus affiliate WCMH-TV his family members are frightened after the mass shooting.

“I’ve got family that’s staying with me because they’re scared,” Oliver said.

Authorities released the names of the eight victims, all of whom are members of the Rhoden family.

• Hannah Gilley, 20

• Christopher Rhoden Sr., 40

• Christopher Rhoden Jr., 16

• Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, 20

• Dana Rhoden, 37

• Gary Rhoden, 38

• Hanna Rhoden, 19

• Kenneth Rhoden, 44

Authorities also released recordings of the chilling 911 calls made when the bodies were discovered.

The investigation continues into the Pike County mass shooting, lead by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office. No suspects have been identified at this time and no arrests have been made. On Friday DeWine said so far there is no evidence that any of the victims committed suicide, which likely means the shooter(s) are still on the loose.

Jeff Ruby, a restaurant owner in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the shooter(s). Investigators revealed they have received an “overwhelming” amount of tips and are following up on them.

Anyone with information concerning the Pike County mass shooting is asked to call (855) BCI-OHIO or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 947-2111.

[Photo by John Minchillo/AP]