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Five dead in small US town, suspect killed by police

Five people were found dead in their home in a small US town Wednesday, and the suspected gunman was later killed by police in a shootout after a brief pursuit, the Illinois state police said.

A six-year-old girl discovered among the carnage is being treated at an area hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Todd Kilby told reporters. Police would not confirm reports that the victims were all killed by gunfire.

"There's no reason to believe there's any danger to the public or any other suspects," Kilby said.

"At this point we are not discussing motives or relationships."

The bodies were discovered at about 4:30 am in the tiny town of Manchester. Witnesses saw a white car speeding away and police tracked it down around 7:15 am.

"Shots were exchanged and the police took the suspect into custody while he was in possession of multiple weapons at 7:27 am," Kilby said.

"The suspect was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead."

The slain family members were identified by relatives as: Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter Brittany Luark, 22, her boyfriend Roy Ralston, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Bradley Ralston, 1, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The shooter was identified by neighbors and relatives as Rick Smith, 43, who had been going through a bitter custody battle with Sinclair's daughter, the newspaper reported.

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