Story Summary

5 slain in downstate Manchester, Illinois

Five members of a family, including two small children, were found murdered in an apartment.

The bodies were discovered in Manchester, Ill., which is about 50 miles southwest of Springfield.

Illinois State Police also say the suspect is dead.

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Investigators in downstate Illinois say one of the five people murdered Wednesday was pregnant.

Police say Rick Odell Smith shot and killed a great-grandmother, a pregnant mother, her boyfriend and two young children in a home in the small town of Manchester, IL.

Manchester VictimsAuthorities say Smith spared the life of a six-year-old girl and even carried her to a neighbor’s house and asked them to take her to a hospital.

Smith sped off in a car and was killed later by police during a shootout.

Investigators haven’t said what the motive for the killings may have been, but they say he was involved in a custody battle with another family member who was not in the home at the time.

The dead include:

Jo Ann Sinclair, 67, grandmother to Brittney Luark and great-grandmother to the 2 deceased children;

James Roy Ralston, 29, father of 2 deceased children;

Brittney Luark, 23, the pregnant mother of 2 deceased children and granddaughter of Jo Ann Sinclair;

Nolan J. Ralston, 5, son of  James Ralston and Brittney Luark;

Brantley Ralston, 1, son of James Ralston and Brittney Luark.

The six- year-old child remains hospitalized in serious condition with facial wounds.

Five members of a family, including two small children, were found murdered in a home in Manchester, Ill., which is about 50 miles southwest of Springfield.

Police say 43-year-old Rick Odell Smith broke into the home early Wednesday morning, and killed a grandmother, a young couple and their two sons.

He then carried a critically wounded 6-year-old girl to a neighbor. That girl is hospitalized.

ManchesterShooting

Scene of a shooting in Manchester, Ill.

Witnesses told police Smith then took off in a white car. Law enforcement from numerous agencies responded, and at about 7:13 a.m. Wednesday, the Smith was found and a pursuit ensued.

After a shootout with police,  Smith was taken into custody. Police said he was in possession of multiple weapons. He was taken to a hospital where he later died.

The state’s attorney says Smith had a conviction for reckless homicide and several petty arrests.

Police would not comment on a motive but a neighbor told the Chicago Tribune, he had a custody battle with a relative of the victims.

The last homicide reported in Scott County was in 1993, police said.  This is the first multiple homicide in Scott County.

Raw video of Illinois State Police discussing Manchester shootings.

Five people were found shot to death in a housing complex in Manchester, Illinois, 50 miles southwest of Springfield. Illinois State Police also say the suspect is dead.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Wednesday police responded to a housing complex in Manchester where they found the shooting victims, according to an Illinois State Police spokesman.

According to officials, the victims may be part of the same family but police did not identify them. However, they did say a 6-year-old female was located at the scene and transported to an area hospital.

ManchesterShooting

Scene of a shooting in Manchester, Ill.

According to witness statements, the shooting suspect fled the area in a White Chevy Lumina, police said. Law enforcement from numerous agencies responded, and at about 7:13 a.m. Wednesday, the suspect was found and a pursuit ensued. After a shootout, the suspect was taken into custody. Police said he was in possession of multiple weapons. He was then taken to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Classes are cancelled in three Scott County, Illinois school districts: Northgreene, Winchester and Jacksonville districts. Approximately 950 students are affected.

The Illinois State Police plan to hold another news conference at 3 p.m.

This is a developing story. More details as they become available.

Five people were reportedly found shot to death in a home in Manchester, Illinois, 50 miles southwest of Springfield.

Raw video of aerial shots of the home where five people were shot to death in Manchester, IL.

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