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By Alex Johnson

Four people were killed and a fifth was seriously injured Thursday night in a shooting incident in north Georgia, authorities said. The shooter or shooters remained at large late Thursday.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, or GBI, said agents from three regional GBI offices responded to assist local investigators in Rockmart, a town of about 4,000 people in Polk County about 40 miles northwest of Atlanta. It said four people were confirmed to be dead.

Rockmart Police Chief Keith Sorrells said the surviving victim appeared to have been shot in the face and was airlifted to Atlanta for emergency treatment.

Sorrells said two men and two women were killed at two scenes near each other, two of them at a house and the others at an apartment about 300 yards away a few minutes later. Authorities were seeking a black Ford Ranger that was seen parked near the first shooting, but Sorrells said investigators hadn't determined whether it was involved.

Sorrells said the victims appeared to have been targeted, "but I don't know why," and that there was likely no threat to the public.

"It's extremely serious any time you have a shooting, but when there's a loss of life of four people, I mean, it's just unheard of in a small community like this," Sorrells said. "This is a relatively quiet community where folks get along."