Connect to share and comment

Five people dead and a child injured in small Illinois town shooting

A suspected gunman shot dead five people in a small Illinois town Wednesday morning, and died after he exchanged gunfire with police.

Breaking News GraphicEnlarge

A suspected gunman died after a firefight with police, but not before he shot dead five people in the small Illinois town of Manchester on Wednesday. 

Police have not named the suspect, but the Chicago Tribune, speaking to relatives and neighbors, identified him as Rick Smith, 43, who lived about five miles from Manchester.

Those slain have been identified as: "Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter Brittany Luark, 22, her boyfriend Roy Ralston, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Bradley Ralston, 1." 

The victims were shot dead in Manchester, a town of about 300 people, and a sixth victim - a child - is now "in satisfactory condition" and recovering at hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

While police have not given details on a possible motive for the killings, a neighbor told the Tribune, "[Smith] was under a lot of stress...There was a lot of problems with custody with the daughter."

A pastor in Manchester told NewsChannel 5 that the "murders happened inside a public housing complex on East Street Wednesday morning." Multiple schools in the area have been put on lockdown.

Jillian Deam of WCIA-TV tweeted earlier today: 

Village clerk Peggy Renner told the St. Louis Post Dispatch how shocked everyone in the town was by the horrible news.

"It's just unbelievable," she said. "Everybody is stunned. You don't expect this to happen in small towns, maybe large towns. But you don't expect stuff like this to happen."