The Illinois State Police officer who fatally shot the suspect in the 2013 Manchester murders was recognized yesterday.
Brad Williams, who is stationed in the Pittsfield office, was presented with a Medal of Honor at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield.
Rick O’Dell Smith of rural Morgan County allegedly shot six people last April in an apartment complex in Manchester, killing five and an unborn child. A six-year-old girl survived.
Williams, who has been with ISP for seven years, spotted Smith’s vehicle after Smith’s description was aired over police radios. He and the Winchester police chief engaged in a high-speed chase on the Winchester blacktop. When Smith started firing a shotgun at the two, Williams returned fire and killed Smith.
“It’s part of the job and something you might have to do sometime in your career,” says Williams.
“That guy has family too and they didn’t have anything to do with it. They are feeling the pain of a loss of a family member and you always have to take that into consideration. It’s a rural area and we can see each other later on going down the sidewalk or getting gas. from something like that to someone stopping me when I’m walking across the courthouse yard saying thanks for helping me with a broke down car is equally rewarding.”
Over 100 officers helped in the Manchester incident.
There were 16 medals awarded yesterday, two of them posthumously.