The suspect accused of shooting five people to death Wednesday at a public housing complex in a tiny west-central Illinois town has died after exchanging gunfire with officers in a police chase, The Associated Press reported.
It's unclear if the suspect had any relationship to the victims, and a possible motive is unknown, police said.
Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake, who lives a block from the house in Manchester, Ill., told the AP the five people were fatally shot at about 4:30 a.m.
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The Chicago Tribune identified the victims as a grandmother, a young couple, and their two young children.
A person who identified himself as the son-in-law of one of the victims, told the paper, "The guy broke into the house. I couldn't tell you about the guy, never met him, never seen him, never talked to him. He apparently broke into the home of my wife's mother and shot everybody inside."
In a brief statement to reporters, state Police Lt. Col. Todd Kilby said the suspect, who had several weapons, was pronounced dead at a hospital after a police chase and exchange of gunfire.
He did not identify the suspect and he declined to speculate on a possible motive for the killings. He refused to take questions.
A 6-year-old girl was wounded and taken to a hospital in Springfield, Kilby said.
Manchester is a Scotts County community of about 300 some 50 miles west of Springfield.
Two area school superintendents said they received calls from county sheriffs before 6 a.m. informing them that five people had been shot to death at a house in Manchester and that a suspect was at large.
Superintendent David Roberts of the Winchester School District and Les Stevens of the North Greene Unit District No. 3 said they both immediately canceled classes when they were told of the shootings early Wednesday, and that other school districts had done the same.
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Roberts and Stevens said they were waiting to hear if any of the victims were children who attended schools in their districts.
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