Every year, nearly 3000 children and teens die from gunfire, and nearly 14,000 are injured.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mass shooting in Illinois claims 5 victims, including two small children, and wounds a 6-year old girl

Two of the shooting victims, Nolan and Branley Ralston, ages 5 and 1.
A family in Manchester, Illinios were at home when a man, Rick Smith, broke in and, using a shotgun, shot them all at close range with a shotgun.  Five family members died, including the couple living there, Brittney Luark and her partner, Roy Ralston, and and their two small children, Nolan Ralston, age 5, and Brantley Ralston, age 1, and Luark's grandmother, Jo Ann Sinclair.  Another 6-year old girl was wounded and is in critical condition.

The shooter, Smith, was shot by police after a car chase and shootout, and later died in a hospital.

From an article:
Sources said Smith entered the home through a back door, armed with a shotgun, and shot the victims in various rooms of the apartment. Police said Smith carried the 6-year-old girl out of the home after the shootings, and placed her in the arms of a neighbor before fleeing the scene.  .... 
About three hours after police were notified of the shootings, the suspect’s car was spotted in the town of Winchester, about 12 miles away, and as officers gave chase, they exchanged gunfire with the suspect. 
“The offender exited his vehicle, pointed a weapon at the officers, and discharged his firearm. The officers then returned fire, striking the offender,” Kilby said. 
“Police took the suspect into custody, while he was in possession of multiple weapons,” Kilby said. “The suspect was then transported to an area hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.” 
Scott County State’s Attorney Michael Hill said Smith had a criminal history, including a reckless homicide conviction, and a number of arrests for drugs and writing bad checks.
Bryan Smith won’t excuse his brother but thinks he can explain him. 
A family’s murder at the hands of Rick Smith was spurred, his family believes, by a bitter custody battle. 
“And it was not a random event. In his mind he was protecting his daughter,” said Bryan Smith, the shooter’s brother.

Friends told Fox 2 Smith was the “estranged boyfriend” of Brittany Luark’s mother.
Luark was pregnant, according to friends. 
Bryan Smith said his brother had a child with Luark’s mother and had been “upset about some things” for a long time. .... 
Family members said the suspect had a history of mental illness.
(A related page, with photos of victims and the crime scene).


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