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2 boys, 3 adults shot to death in Illinois town

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2013 at 9:47 pm •  Published: April 24, 2013
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MANCHESTER, Ill. (AP) — The nephew of a small-town Illinois mayor shot and killed five people, including two boys, before leading police on a chase that ended in an exchange of gunfire that left him dead, authorities said Wednesday.

Illinois State Police said they believe Rick O. Smith, 43, entered a Manchester home through the back door and shot the victims at close range with a shotgun, leaving two women, one man and the boys dead. Two people were found in a bedroom, two in a second bedroom and the man in the hallway. A sixth victim, a 6-year-old girl, was injured and taken to a Springfield hospital.

"The offender took the 6-year-old out of the residence and put her in the hands of a neighbor," State Police Lt. Col. Todd Kilby said.

Officials have not revealed a motive for the killings. Police said the victims are related. Authorities believe Smith and the victims were acquainted, but they didn't provide details of the relationships.

A bystander called police and told them that Smith fled the home in a white sedan. A car chase ensued, leading authorities to the nearby town of Winchester, where Smith and officers exchanged gunfire. Officers shot Smith, and he later died at a hospital.

Police said they found a rifle, shotgun and large hunting knife in Smith's car.

Coroner officials said they plan autopsies on the victims Thursday morning in Bloomington and identities would be released at that time.

Scott County State's Attorney Michael Hill said Smith, of rural Morgan County, had previous convictions for reckless homicide, drugs and bad checks.

Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake confirmed that Smith was his nephew, saying he hadn't spoken to Smith in two years, but he believed his nephew was unemployed. Drake said the last time Smith contacted him was to borrow tools.

In Manchester, yellow police tape surrounded the small one-story brick home where the victims were found. Manchester is a village of about 300 residents located about 50 miles west of Springfield.

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