South AL gunman identified, death toll now at 11

Photos Courtesy: Casey Taylor
Photos Courtesy: Casey Taylor
Photos Courtesy: Casey Taylor
Photos Courtesy: Casey Taylor

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - New details are surfacing about the life of Tuesday's south Alabama gunman. Michael McLendon, 28, of Kinston had quit his job at a sausage factory just days ago. Prior to that he'd worked for nearly two years at another food plant around 25 miles away in the city of Elba, and before that, he worked for the Samson Police Department in 2003, though he failed complete the academy.

The man's shooting spree covered two counties (Coffee and Geneva) and targeted people in the town of Kinston and the cities of Samson and Geneva in extreme southeast Alabama.

No one knows for sure what sent McClendon into the deadly rampage, killing 11 including himself and wounding others. Those who might have known the reasons, his own relatives, were the apparent targets of his rage. Victims ranged in age from 18 months to 74-years-old.

The Coffee County coroner said McLendon started his day off with bloodshed at the Kinston area home owned by his mother; a home he ended up burning to the ground.

Others relatives including McClendon's grandparents, an aunt, uncle and cousin as well as random citizens were shot to death. Several law enforcement officers were wounded as McClendon drove though town firing shots at anyone in his path.  Click here to read the last information on victim identities.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and many other agencies continue to work multiple crime scenes.

Col. Chris Murphy, Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety, said four adults and one child were found dead inside of one house, and one body was found at each of two other houses in the Samson area.  He called the day's events, "one of the worst tragedies in recent memory."

Investigators said McLendon then drove down Highway 52 where he fired at least seven times on a state trooper vehicle. The trooper was wounded by broken glass.

He then drove to the Samson Pipe and Supply Company on Highway 52 where he gunned down another victim. Afterwards, he took aim at a man at a local service station in the same area. That victim also died of his wounds.

Geneva police then began a pursuit of the suspect's vehicle, chasing McLendon to the Reliable Metal Products company in Geneva. Officials later confirmed he had been a former employee of the company, but the reasons for his leaving the company were not immediately know.

Once there, officials said the man fired at least a 30-round burst of ammunition at the city police chief before running inside the business. The police chief was grazed by gunfire but was wearing a bullet-proof vest. A short time later investigators said they heard shots inside the building, and when they entered the business they found the man dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


"My thoughts and prayers go out to families of the victims in the tragic shootings that occurred today in Geneva County.  Now is the time for the entire Wiregrass community to unite and support each other as we mourn the loss of friends and neighbors.  My offices in Washington and Dothan are here to assist local leaders, law enforcement, and the citizens of Geneva County in any way that we can.  I plan on returning to the district as soon as possible to be with my constituents who have just experienced such a horrible tragedy."


"I am devastated by the violence in Geneva and Coffee counties. My prayers are with the victims and their families as they seek some comfort from God for an inconceivable act. I also appreciate the response of the law enforcement officers in the community who found themselves in the middle of an unexpected terror and performed heroically."