SAMSON, Ala., March 11 (UPI) -- Alabama investigators were trying to determine Wednesday why a quiet man would go on a killing spree that took the lives of five relatives and five others.
Michael McLendon, 27, ended the worst mass homicide in Alabama history Tuesday afternoon by taking his own life during a confrontation with police.
McLendon quit his job at a sausage maker last week after working at Kelly Foods in Elba for less than a year, ABC News reported. At a news conference, Alabama Bureau of Investigation Chief Jerry Connor said that McLendon had also worked briefly as a police officer in Samson, Ala., leaving after failing to finish training at the state police academy.
"Michael by nature was a quiet person that never had very much to say. He just did his job," said Erik Ennis, a spokesman for Kelley Foods. "He was liked by his co-workers and worked well with others."
Investigators said that McLendon began by shooting his mother in Kinston, where he left her body in her burning house. In Samson, 10 miles to the southeast, he killed his grandmother, uncle and two cousins, the Dothan Eagle said.
His other victims there included Andrea Myers, whose husband, Josh, is a sheriff's deputy, their year-old daughter, Corinne, and three people apparently shot at random, one on the street and two in Samson stores. Josh Myers, who did not know at the time that his family had been killed, was one of the officers who pursued McLendon east to Geneva, where he killed himself.