five people were found shot to death in the Illinois shootings in a home in the small town of Manchester. Mayor Ron Drake said these were the first homicides in the town of 300 people in at least 43 years.
A sixth intended victim, a child, remains hospitalized following the shooting at the apartment, but their condition is unknown.
A grandmother, a young couple and their two small children, 1 and 5, were found slain in a home in the small town of Manchester, about 50 miles southwest of Springfield, according to police and relatives.
he slain family members were identified as Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter Brittany Luark, 22, Luark’s boyfriend, Roy Ralston, and their sons, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Bradley Ralston, 1, according to the Tribune.
“The guy broke into the house,” Teeter said. “I couldn’t tell you about the guy, never met him, never seen him, never talked to him. He apparently broke into the home of my wife’s mother and shot everybody inside.”
“I’m at a loss right now,” said Teeter.
About two hours after the shootings, the suspect reportedly led police on a high speed chase ending in Greene County, when he was shot and later died of his injuries at a local hospital.
The Illinois shootings apparently occurred in the early morning hours. Mayor Drake said he received a page about 4:45 a.m. seeking officials to respond to a multiple shooting.
Illinois State Police responded with local police and SWAT teams. Schools in the area were closed as a precaution.
Superintendent David Roberts of the Winchester School District and Les Stevens of the North Greene Unit District No. 3 said they both immediately canceled classes when they were told of the shootings, and that other school districts had done the same. They said the sheriff’s offices later informed them that the suspect had been captured near Manchester, a Scotts County community.
State police would not comment on a possible motive. But a neighbor said Smith had been going through a custody battle with the mother of their 4-year-old daughter. The woman is Sinclair’s daughter.
“He was under a lot of stress . . .There was a lot of problems with custody with the daughter,” the neighbor said.
Drake, who lives a block from the house where the slayings occurred, said the shootings happened about 4:30 a.m.
Roberts and Stevens said they were waiting to hear if any of the victims were children who attended schools in their districts.
“It’s a tragedy,” he said. “I’ve lived here for 43 years and my wife’s lived her for all of her life and there’s never been a homicide.”