Teen massacres his entire family
Hours after a frantic teenage boy called police and told them he'd heard gunshots in his family's Alabama home, the 14-year-old admitted to killing his entire family.
Police rushed to the home in Elkmont in the US state of Alabama early Tuesday morning after the boy called 911 and reported the shooting.
Officers ran into the suburban home and found an adult and two children dead inside.
Another adult and child were flown to hospital with critical injuries but were unable to be saved.
The Limestone country sheriff's office later tweeted the 14-year-old boy confessed to killing his five family members before throwing the gun away.
"The 14-year-old caller was interviewed and confessed to shooting all five members of his family in the residence," the statement said.
"He is currently assisting investigators in locating the weapon, a 9mm handgun that he said he tossed nearby," it said.
Sheriff Mike Blakely told local news channel WAFF that the victims were the teen's dad, stepmum and his three younger siblings.
Police did not say what the teenager's motive was and were unable to say how he had the gun.
Sheriff spokesman Stephen Young said the teenager claimed to have heard gunshots upstairs while he was in his family's home downstairs.
Mr Young confirmed the boy was a student at Elkmont High School.
"Please be in prayer for our school and community. We will have extra counsellors at school today," Elkmont High School tweeted.
The town's mayor Tracey Compton, who lives nearby, expressed heartbreak at the family's death.
"It's an absolutely terrible thing, and I can't wrap my arms around it," Ms Compton told the News Courier.
"Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family, the school, the whole community. It's just unimaginable."
Pictures taken in the usually quiet town of Elkmont showed locals heading to church after the massacre to pray and be consoled by their pastor.
The family massacre is the latest in a handful of mass shootings across the US.
Earlier today, retail giant Walmart announced it would stop selling certain types of ammunition in response to a shooting at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas.
A month ago, a gunman opened fire in the El Paso store, killing 22 and injuring at least 27 others.
There has also been mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and Midland Odessa, Texas in the past month.
The National Rifle Association, America's largest gun lobby, released a statement slamming Walmart's new policy as "shameful".
"It is shameful to see Walmart succumb to the pressure of the anti-gun elites. Lines at Walmart will soon be replaced by lines at other retailers who are more supportive of America's fundamental freedoms," the statement said.
"The truth is Walmart's actions today will not make us any safer. Rather than place the blame on the criminal, Walmart has chosen to victimise law-abiding Americans," the NRA added. "Our leaders must be willing to approach the problems of crime, violence and mental health with sincerity and honesty."
Walmart stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015 and raised the age to purchase guns from 18 to 21 last year.