Suspected Ill. shooter took 6-year-old victim to neighbor

April 25, 2013 at 7:56 AM
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MANCHESTER, Ill., April 25 (UPI) -- A man suspected of killing a Manchester, Ill., family of five carried a 6-year-old survivor of the shooting to a neighbor's house, officials said.

Rick Smith, 43, of Roodhouse is suspected of shooting his way into a home where he allegedly killed Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter, Brittany Luark, 22, Luark's boyfriend Roy Ralston, and their children, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Bradley Ralston, 1, officials said. The victims were identified by relatives, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Another child, Cassidy Ralston, 6, was also injured in the shooting though police said they are puzzled by Smith's apparent concern for the little girl.

State Police Lt. Col. Todd Kilby said Smith picked up the critically injured girl and took her to a neighbor's house.

A source, whose name was not reported, told the Tribune Smith told the neighbor to take the girl to the hospital.

Smith died after he exchanged gunfire with police during a chase, Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake said.

Drake said Smith was his wife's sister's son, and he was shocked to hear of the alleged crimes, including a previous arrest for reckless homicide.

"The last time I talked to him, he was real decent and everything," Drake said. "It's devastating. People in the community I talked to just think it's a tragedy. We have to work together and bring it back to where it was before. We're just going to have to press on and ask the Lord to help us go on."

Brad Teeter, Sinclair's son-in-law, said Smith was involved in a custody battle with Sinclair's daughter over their 4-year-old daughter. Sinclair's daughter and the 4-year-old were not at the home at the time of the attack, the Tribune reported.

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