6-year-old survivor in Manchester, Illinois attacks upgraded to fair condition
Rick O. Smith, 43, of rural Morgan County, has been identified by police as the shooting suspect. (Courtesy/Illinois State Police)
This is the scene at 20 East Street, where the murders took place. (WGEM News)
Police pursued Smith to this location, just south of Winchester. Smith engaged in a shootout with police before being taken into custody. (WGEM News)
1 Mile South of Winchester
MANCHESTER, Ill. -- The Illinois State Police has identified the five murder victims in Wednesday's deadly shooting in Manchester.
- Jo Ann Sinclair, 66, grandmother to Brittney and great-grandmother to the 2 deceased children
- James Roy Ralston, 29, father of 2 deceased children.
- Brittney Luark, 23, mother of 2 deceased children.
- Nolan J. Ralston, 5, son of James and Brittney.
- Brantley Ralston, 1, son of James and Brittney.
The Scott County Coroner's Office also confirmed that Brittney Luark was pregnant.
The only survivor, six-year-old Kassidy Ralston, remains hospitalized but has been upgraded to fair condition.
Illinois State Police said they're not yet sure of a motive for the murders. Authorities say 43-year-old Rick Smith shot five people to death early Wednesday morning and later led to a shootout with police and Smith's death.
"Today's event's have been tragic," Illinois State Police Lt. Col. Todd Kilby said.
The shooter, Kilby said, has been identified as Rick O. Smith, 43, with a last known address of rural Morgan County.
Kilby said preliminary investigations show that Smith forced entry into the back door of the victim's residence in the Scott County Housing Authority Complex around 4:30 a.m. at 20 East Street in Manchester. Based on discoveries at the scene, Kilby said Smith used a shotgun.
Before leaving the scene, a witness told authorities that Smith took the six-year-old girl to a nearby neighbor.
Smith was reported to have left the area in a White Chevy Lumina.
Authorities say they located the Smith at 7:13 a.m., before leading multiple police agencies on a high speed pursuit. Kilby said Smith got out of the vehicle, pointed a weapon and shot at officers. Officers fired back before with Smith before police took him into custody, where multiple officers converged at the intersection of Illinois Route 106 and County Road 725 North, also known as Woodson Road.
Ten police vehicles were on scene and numerous officers were on the scene, where the road was taped off as a crime scene.
Police say Smith was in possession of several weapons in the vehicle. He was taken to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead at 10:10 a.m.
"We know there was an acquaintance between the shooters and victims," Kilby said. "We're still exploring that relationship."
"This is a total tragedy," Manchester Mayor Ron Drake, who says he is the uncle of Smith, said. "We just have to learn how to pick ourselves up and move on."
North Greene, Winchester, Jacksonville District 117, Salem Lutheran Academy, Four Rivers Special Education District, and Westfair Academy schools canceled classes, as police searched for the shooter.
Manchester is a small town of about 350 people, located about 85 miles southeast of Quincy and about 18 miles south of Jacksonville. The last reported homicide in Scott County occurred in 1993, according to Illinois State Police. This is the first multiple homicide case recorded in the county.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Donna Vancil at 217-228-6617. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.