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.


My Voice Nation Help
20 comments
Brian Wittling
Brian Wittling

started poppin' out the puppies at 17 and pregnant with 4th child at 23, while apparently fooling around with another guy in the process.. sounds like fine, upstanding citizens with bright futures all around. Tragically cut short. >.

Edwin Reese
Edwin Reese

Give the six year old a gun! Give all babies guns! Train your baby to use a gun, preferably an assault rifle. Train your entire family how to shoot and kill intruders while asleep! Sleepwalking = sleepshooting. Boobytrap your home with guns everywhere. Better yet, build a house out of guns. Make your house one giant gun! And fucking shoot anyone who steps on your property because this is America!

Keith Stephens
Keith Stephens

Being related to the mayor isn't shocking in a town of

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

notice how they got "shooting" and "shooter" in there twice? just to make sure everyone knows it was a shooting.

Paige Jean
Paige Jean

I am apart of your audience and I am so sick of the shit you guys post. Excuse my language. But do you believe your story on the latest beating/shooting/stabbing/robbing/rape are contributing to these events in any form? You are just a piece of the puzzle, giving these shit-bags a piece of glory. I pray for those affected by the barbarian acts occuring so frequently. Perhaps they would occur less if we only focused on the good things happening out in this world. ...Soap box...out.

DoucheMcGee
DoucheMcGee topcommenter

Another "estranged ex" lunatic

Dee Dee Owens
Dee Dee Owens

I knew Roy since his child hood.. It heart wrenching .. And senseless.. God be with Cassidy and get her through this.. And Roys family

KeshKat Knk
KeshKat Knk

WOW, what in the world is going on-no real details

Miserys_Company
Miserys_Company

@Brian Wittling None of them deserved to die, and you're a judgemental sociopath who lacks the basic level of empathy most possess by the age of 5. You don't know any of the contributing factors about this case other than what has been reported. Judging by your sarcastic, deluded comments lacking in any real insight, your own mother wasnt exactly at the top of the evolutionary gene pool herself. (in other words you're a load that should have been swallowed slugger.)

Jerepa
Jerepa

Seriously, are you an idiot?? I was raised in a home that had gun racks and gun cabinets and I always knew not to touch them without a reason. I also was raised in a home with 2 parents and a respect/fear/love for them. I know the power of a firearm and you shouldn't use one unless you're physically threatened. Too many stalkers

Miserys_Company
Miserys_Company

@Edwin Reese Sarcasm aside Mr. Reese, you make (somewhat) valid points. There should be more rational minded gunowners in possession of firearms for home defense. But in this type of situation it's hard to say whether or not it would have helped because of the spontaneous nature of the attack. The individual kicked the door in at 4am in the morning and started shooting. It's likely the two in the hallway were killed first, followed by the Vics in the Bedroom. 

The offender was punishing them for something, while exacting revenge.

Miserys_Company
Miserys_Company

@Keith Stephens I found it questionable why they brought it up as well Keith, but it makes sense. It's more of a "headline-grabber" anytime you mention someone who has a small degree of fame, or who holds a political position.

ThatsMyTattooo
ThatsMyTattooo

@Paige Jean If reporters stop reporting atrocities committed by human beings against humanity, humans would actually STOP committing these horrific crimes? So now it's the media's fault and not the humans who commit these acts? If you want to blame anyone besides the perpetrator, try the NRA for leading astray their strategic marks with a campaign of fear & lies, or the judicial system that gives more time for armed robbery than murder. That'd be a good start.

I prefer to stay informed on the world, the events affecting it, of which I'm a part of and current member of, you know... Planet Earth? The one my children & grandchildren will inhabit needs our care. Yes, let's stick our heads in the sand and hide instead, silent, maybe it will all just go away! Since when has that worked for anyone? As if raping, killing, pillaging was new, a post invention of social media. Read much history? We have problems, & have always had problems, big ones. We're flawed, but not all to that degree. Children who have no media resources all over the world continue to be killed, beaten, raped, starved, given assault rifles to kill other children, but hey... since it's not all flowers and honey, let's just pretend it doesn't exist. The very least you can do is bear witness. Apathy is death. 

Reporters have a tough job, too many tales of misfortune to tell that the world needs to know about, and not enough time to bear or host witness to them all. 

Miserys_Company
Miserys_Company

@ThatsMyTattooo I agree tattoo. As gut-wrenching as it often is, it gives insight into the nature of the world and the various inner workings of offenders who are in it. And such knowledge, while macabre, is a part of life and might give others necessary knowledge to take preventative measures in the future. Ignoring the bad things in the world while focusing only on the good will not prevent bad things from happening, it will only prevent a potential understanding of it.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...