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Manchester Shooting: Infant, 4 More Dead; Gunman is Mayor's Nephew [UPDATE]

Categories: Crime

rick smith mug.jpg
Illinois State Police
Rick Odell Smith, 43.
Update: The small town of Manchester, Illinois is now in the national spotlight after Rick Odell Smith, 43, reportedly broke into a home in the middle of the night and shot and killed five members of a family, including a young boy and an infant. Our original coverage of the shooting is below.

The latest twist in this horrific case is that Smith, who is now also dead, is the nephew of Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake.

"The last time I talked to him, he was real decent and everything," Drake said of Smith, who police say was shot in a police pursuit after the murders. "We're just going to have to press on and ask the Lord to help us go on."

The Associated Press says that they Drake hadn't spoken to his nephew in two years.

In another interview, he said he had no idea of a possible motive.

ron drake image.jpg
via wics.com

Meanwhile, the five victims have been identified: 66-year-old JoAnn Sinclair, 23-year-old Brittney Lynn Luark, 29-year-old James Roy Ralston, five-year-old Nolan James Ralston, and one-year-old Brantley Jack Ralston.

Here's footage from KSDK (Channel 5)'s latest update:

As we reported earlier, police believe that he broke in and shot all five victims at close range.

KTVI (Channel 2) spoke with the gunman's brother, Bryan Smith, who said that Rick Smith was the estranged boyfriend of one of the victims. Here's the station's interview with him:

Another shocking detail from that interview: Brittney Luark, the 29-year-old victim, was believed to be pregnant.

Meanwhile, a six-year-old girl who was shot is in critical condition in the hospital. Authorities are still trying to figure out why the suspect carried her to a neighbor's house. Sources say Smith asked that neighbor to take her to a hospital.

Update, 11:50 a.m.: The Scott County coroner's office has released the names of the five murder victims -- and confirm that Brittney Luark was pregnant:

Manchester, IL--Scott County Coroner Justin Daws officially released the names of the five murder victims in the Manchester homicide investigation:

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

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

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

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

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

The sixth victim is a six year old child who remains hospitalized and remains in serious condition.

The Cornor's Office also confirmed that Brittney Luark was also pregnant.

Illinois State Police and Scott County law enforcement officials continue to investigate the matter.

Continue for more photos and for our original coverage of the shooting.



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