Gunman Carried Injured Girl to Neighbor After Killing Family in Manchester, Ill., Police Say
MANCHESTER, Ill. A man broke into a home in this small Illinois town in the early hours Wednesday and killed five members of a family with close-range shotgun blasts, authorities said.
A sixth victim was critically injured but carried to a neighbor’s house by the killer before he fled, police said. The gunman died after a police chase and shootout with officers hours later, authorities said.
Authorities identified the killer as Rick Odell Smith, 43, of rural Morgan County. Smith knew the victims but authorities declined to identify them or discuss his relationship with them.
Family friends identified the dead as Joanne Sinclair, 65; her granddaughter, Brittney Luark and her boyfriend, Roy Ralston; and their children Nolan, and Brantley. The couple’s daughter, Kassidy, 6, was in critical condition at a Springfield, Ill., hospital.
Luark was pregnant with the couple’s fourth child, according to family friend Bill Brooks.
Smith is the nephew of Ronald Drake, the village president and fire chief of Manchester. Drake said he hasn’t spoken to Smith for several years. Smith was unemployed and unmarried, but had a 3- or 4-year-old daughter, Drake said.
Smith has a criminal history that includes reckless homicide from a car crash years ago, authorities said. He also has a record for passing bad checks and a drug-related charge.