The victims were found late on Thursday night on the top floor a two-family home on the city’s west side, police said.
Authorities said they were searching for 33-year-old Davon Crawford, whose wife, Lechea, 30, was among those killed.
Police identified the other victims as Lechea Crawford’s sister Rose Stevens, 25, and her three children: Destiny Woods, four, and two-year-old twins Dion and Davion Primm. A fifth child was wounded and being treated at MetroHealth Medical Centre, hospital spokeswoman Susan Christopher said.
Authorities had previously said the victims were one woman and four children; there was no immediate explanation yesterday for the discrepancy.
A police helicopter assisted in the search and authorities were checking transit system buses.
“It’s probably one of the worst multiple shootings that I’ve seen in a long time,” said Police Chief Michael McGrath.
Outside the home, Lamar Arnold said that Crawford, whom he recognised from a police photo shown on television, was the man who had married his daughter last Monday.
Arnold said his daughter had sent him an unusual cell phone text message at 7:47pm on Thursday saying: “Call me, live your life, love it.”
“Then I tried to call her about 12 times, and there never was an answer,” he said.
Police said there were two rental units in the house, and all the victims were killed in the upstairs apartment. The building is on a tree-lined street of older, mostly two-story frame houses and some apartment buildings.
India Cobb told WJW-TV she saw Crawford, whom she identified as a cousin, earlier on Thursday and nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
“It didn’t seem anything was wrong or anything like that,” Cobb said. “He just got married... he just had a baby girl.
“I don’t understand what went wrong. I don’t know what happened. I’m still trying to find out myself.”
A crowd milled around near the home, including some claiming to be family and friends of the victims.
Shortly after midnight, about four hours after the shootings, several women whom police had let into the cordoned-off area came back in tears, got into a car and left.