MANCHESTER, IL. (KTVI) – The brother of a man accused of killing five people in Manchester spoke with FOX2 News about the shootings.
Rick Smith shot the victims at close range with a shotgun, according to Illinois State Police.
Smith was killed by police about three hours after the victims were found.
“I love my brother very much, and I am shocked about this,” Bryan Smith said. “I pray for the victims.”
A six-year-old was also shot. Police said Smith brought her to a neighbor’s home before leading officers on a high speed chase.
“It is like my heart got ripped out of my chest,” Bryan Smith said. “I can’t believe this happened.”
As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, the six-year-old was listed in critical condition.
“I pray she recovers full from this, and I hope that she can heal emotionally,” Bryan Smith said. “I am so sorry this happened to her.”
The dead victims include Brittany Luark, Roy Ralston, Nolan Ralston, Brantly Ralston and Joanne Sinclair.
Police said Smith broke into the home where all of the victims lived.
They also said he knew the victims.
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.
“I believe he thought he was doing this to protect his daughter,” Bryan Smith said. “This is just the worst feeling I have ever had.”
The victims were found around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Around 7:30 a.m. Smith was leading police on a high speed chase. It led to an exchange of gunfire, and police said Smith was shot and killed.
Now the community is left mourning five people and hoping the six-year-old survives.
About 200 people gathered for a candle light vigil a few miles from the crime scene. They said it was aimed at remembering the dead and the living.
“There is still a little girl we need to think about,” family friend Tonda Anthony said. “We are praying for her, and we want her to stay strong.”
Family members said the suspect had a history of mental illness.