Manchester Shootings Believed Due to Custody Dispute

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Published on May 3 2013 8:47 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Investigators into the fatal shootings April 24 in Manchester, Illinois say they were the result of a custody dispute.

43-year-old Rick O. Smith was fatally shot during a shootout with police after being pursued for the shootings earlier that morning.  Smith is believed to have fatally shot five people inside a home in Manchester and wounded another person.

Based on witness statements from family members and other known acquaintances, State Police investigators confirmed that Smith planned his attack and was seeking to resolve a domestic dispute over custody of his three-year-old daughter.  Statements indicate that Smith believed the relatives of Rita Luark, who also lived in the residence, were interfering with the custody dispute between Smith and Luark, the mother of Smith's daughter.