Investigators release motive in Manchester shooting

By WEEK Reporter

May 3, 2013 Updated May 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM CDT

MANCHESTER, Ill. -- Illinois State Police officials released a motive into the Manchester homicide where five victims were found fatally shot inside a home on April 24.

That morning, police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of 19 East Street in Manchester.

Authorities later located the fleeing offender, Rick O. Smith, 43, of rural Morgan County. Smith was fatally shot during a shootout with police.

Investigators say that three families, Sinclair, Luark, and Ralston lived at he residence. Smith planned his attack and was seeking to resolve a domestic dispute between himself and the Sinclair’s involving the custody of his 3-year-old daughter.

Authorities also confirmed that on March 27, the office facilitated an exchange of custody between Smith’s 3 year old daughter and her mother, Rita Luark, which occurred without incident. Smith believed that Rita Luark’s relatives were interfering with their custody dispute.

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