An Alabama man with an assault weapon burned down his mother's house around her, shot his grandparents, aunt and uncle dead, then killed five other people Tuesday before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
Officials in Geneva County near the Florida border identified the shooter only as white and in his 30s.
They gave no motive for the rampage that claimed victims in several homes in the small towns of Kinston, Samson and Geneva and along the highway connecting them.
Two of the dead were a sheriff's deputy's wife and 3-month-old child.
Several other people were injured, including Geneva Police Chief Frankie Lindsey, who was saved by his bulletproof vest, and a state trooper wounded by flying glass when his car was hit with seven slugs.
Investigators last night were looking into possible shootings in other locations.
"This is one of the most tragic events ever in Geneva County," state Sen. Harri Anne Smith said.
The carnage began in the late afternoon in Kinston, where the killer burned down his mother's home. It was unclear if the mother, who died, had been shot. Officials said the gunman then went to nearby Samson and shot his grandparents, aunt and uncle.
The sheriff deputy's wife and child were slaughtered in their mobile home, officials said. The shooter also killed another person at a Samson supply store and a woman at a service station, they said.
Cops said the gunman fired randomly at people as his maroon Mitsubishi Eclipse traveled along Highway 52 toward Geneva's Reliable Metal Products, which makes grills and vents for heating and air conditioning systems, mainly for hotels.
"He was just driving down the street shooting at people sitting on their porches," Smith said. "A family was just sitting on the porch and they were shot."
Cops caught up with the shooter at Reliable, where he was said to be a past or present employee.
After firing 30 rounds at the officers, he went inside and shot himself to death.