Police say 5 people found dead in small Illinois town

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

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MANCHESTER, Ill. (AP) — The bodies of five people who had been shot to death were found early Wednesday in a house in a tiny southwestern Illinois town, and authorities said a suspect was injured and taken into custody a short time later.

Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond would only say that the five were homicide victims, but could not confirm how they died. But two area school superintendents said they received calls from county sheriffs before 6 a.m. informing them that victims 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, and that other school districts had done the same. They said the sheriff’s offices later informed them that the suspect had been captured near Manchester, a Scotts County community of 300 people about 50 miles west of Springfield.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office declined to comment to The Associated Press early Wednesday.

Stevens said that he was told by the sheriff’s office in nearby Green County that the suspect was captured after a brief car chase that included gunfire.

Manchester Mayor Ronald Drake said the suspect was injured in the chase and taken to a hospital.

Drake, who lives a block from the house where the shooting occurred, said the shootings happened at about 4:30 a.m.

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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