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Suspect in Illinois deputy death, St. Peters carjacking charged with murder

The suspect, 40-year-old Ray Tate, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon in Clinton County, Illinois.

ST. PETERS, Mo. — The suspect wanted in connection to a deadly shooting of an Illinois deputy and a carjacking in St. Peters is now in custody.

St. Peters police were trying to find a man who they say carjacked and shot a person at a QuikTrip Wednesday morning. Police also believe this man is connected to the fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy in Wayne County, Illinois, early Wednesday morning. A sheriff's office in Indiana was also looking for him in connection with a Dec. 16 incident.

The man was taken into custody at a home on Beaver Road just north of Carlyle, Illinois. That's where a large police presence was gathered earlier Wednesday afternoon.

The Illinois State Police identified him as 40-year-old Ray Tate of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. As of Wednesday evening, he had been charged with one count of first-degree murder by the Wayne County State's Attorney.

Credit: Illinois State Police
Ray Tate, 40, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder on Dec. 29. He is suspected of a crime spree that included the fatal shooting of an Illinois deputy.

RELATED: Timeline: Manhunt underway for multistate shooting suspect

The Clinton County Sheriff's Office also put out a warning to residents in Carlyle and the surrounding areas before the man was taken into custody. The post said there were two armed and dangerous men in the area. They also included a photo of the car they were in. Investigators believe the man wanted for the deputy shooting and the carjacking was in that car.

ATTN CLINTON COUNTY RESIDENTS - SPECIAl ATTN BEAVER PRAIRIE, BREESE, JAMESTOWN AREA Attached is a photo of a suspect...

Posted by Clinton County IL Sheriff's Office, Carlyle Illinois on Wednesday, December 29, 2021

The Illinois State Police said Wednesday's incidents started around 5 a.m. along Interstate 64 in central Illinois' Wayne County. That's where a deputy with the Wayne County Sheriff's Department, Sean Riley, was called to help a driver. 

A short time later, a second deputy showed up at the scene to find Riley dead and his squad car missing. 

Credit: Wayne County Sheriff's Office/WFIE

Officers were able to find the squad car, but they said Tate got into a semi-truck before officers arrived and forced the driver at gunpoint to take him to St. Peters, Missouri.

The shooting and carjacking in St. Peters happened at about 7:10 a.m. at 391 Main Street. Police released surveillance photos of the suspect inside the QuikTrip.

Credit: Police
Photos from inside the QuikTrip in St. Peters show a man who police say shot a victim and carjacked them at the gas station Wednesday morning.

Police said the suspect carjacked a victim at a QuikTrip in St. Peters, shooting him in the process before fleeing. The victim was shot in the shoulder and taken to the hospital. His injures were not life-threatening.

Police said the victim's vehicle was found in O'Fallon off Highway 70, but the suspect was not inside. 

O'Fallon, Missouri, police said he was seen in another vehicle, a white Nissan Titan pickup with the Missouri license plate 0WE-A43. The Illinois State Police said he stole that vehicle and had a kidnapped person inside.

Credit: Police
Police believe the suspect accused of shooting two people was last seen in a white Nissan Titan.

The Illinois State Police said he ultimately returned to Illinois with that car and the kidnapped victim. He drove that vehicle to rural Carlyle, Illinois, where he forced his way into the home and held the kidnapped victim and the homeowner against their will.

Police eventually caught up with him at that home. Officers with the ISP SWAT division were able to take him into custody without further incident. The stolen Nissan Titan was seen being towed from the scene of his arrest Wednesday evening.

The only charge filed as of Wednesday night was first-degree murder. Tate is being held on that charge in the Wayne County Jail.

In a Facebook post on Dec. 16, the Knox County Sheriff's Office identified Tate as a suspect in a shooting near a hotel in the area. They said he got away from deputies and fired a shot at a driver in an attempted carjacking. He eventually fled the scene and was not caught until Wednesday.

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