At least eight people have been killed in “execution-style killings” in four places near each other in rural Ohio.

It is believed the victims – five adults and two children – are from the same family, the state’s attorney general said in a statement.

They were all shot to death but there have been no arrests and no “active shooter” situation.

More than a dozen officials from multiple agencies were sent to crime scenes in Piketon, south of Columbus.

A pastor at the scene said the violence may have been the result of a “domestic situation”.

Piketon, Ohio
There are ‘multiple crime scenes’ in Piketon, Ohio

Seven of the victims were found in homes along Union Hill Road in Pike County. It is unclear where the eighth body was recovered.

Local schools Peebles Elementary and Peebles High School were earlier on “lockout” – no-one went in or out – due to the ongoing situation in Piketon, a spokesperson for Adams County Ohio Valley Schools said.

The FBI in Cincinnati tweeted that they are “closely monitoring the situation”.

Ohio Governor John Kasich and Republican presidential candidate tweeted that the situation is “tragic beyond comprehension”.