5 dead after shooting in southern Illinois

1:34 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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VILLAGE OF MANCHESTER, Ill - Illinois State Police say the suspect in the slayings of five people at a home in a west-central Illinois is dead.

Illinois State Police Lt. Col. Todd Kilby said the suspect was injured in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement personnel during a car chase. He was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Kilby spoke to reporters in the village of Manchester where the killings took place on Wednesday. Kilby says the suspect was in possession of multiple weapons. He did not identify him by name.

The Chicago Tribune reported that the victims were a grandmother, a young couple and their two small children. A 6-year-old was hospitalized in serious condition, Illinois State Police Lt. Todd Kilby told reporters.

Kilby would not speculate on a possible motive in the killings or discuss any possible relationship between the gunman and the victims.

The newspaper identified the victims as Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter Brittany Luark, 22, her boyfriend Roy Ralston, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Brantley Ralston, 1.

The Tribune quoted a son-in-law, Brad Teeter, as saying the shooter broke into the first-floor apartment in the housing development and "shot everybody inside." He told the newspaper that did not know the gunman.

"Scott County is a small community, for this type of thing doesn't happen very often," said county state attorney's Michael Hill. "But this is proof that it can happen."

Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake, who lives a block from the house where the shooting occurred, said the killings took place at about 4:30 a.m.

Kilby said the gunman had "multiple weapons" in his possession when he was caught and had exchanged gunfire with state troopers and Winchester police. The suspect died later at a hospital.

The pastor of Manchester Baptist Church tells KSDK-TV that the shootings took place inside a public housing complex. Schools were closed in North Green, Winchester and Jacksonville while the gunman was at large, KSDK reports.

Manchester is about 85 miles north of St. Louis.


(Copyright 2013 by Gannett Co. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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