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Community mourns fallen Wayne Co. deputy, suspect in custody

Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 8:00 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 29, 2021 at 6:20 PM CST
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WHITE CO., Ill. (WFIE) - Several officials confirm a Wayne County, Illinois, deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office says he’s Deputy Sean Riley.

[READ MORE: Hometown remembers ‘high-regarded’ Wayne Co. deputy killed on duty]

Indiana State Police have identified the suspect as 40-year-old Ray Tate.

Deputy Sean Riley
Deputy Sean Riley(Wayne Co., Illinois, Sheriff's Office)

Authorities say Riley responded to a motorist assist on Interstate 64 around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

When another officer arrived, officials say Deputy Riley’s body was found on scene, and his squad car was missing.

The car was later found abandoned on Interstate 64.

The Wayne Co. Sheriff made a brief statement late Wednesday afternoon:

Illinois State Police say Tate carjacked a truck tractor semi-trailer near the area where Deputy Riley’s squad car was found. State troopers say the driver of the truck tractor semi-trailer was held against his will and drove Tate to a gas station in St Peter’s, Missouri.

St. Peters Police confirm the suspect wanted in the deputy’s death was also wanted in a shooting that happened Wednesday.

St. Peters Police say he shot someone at the gas station and stole their car.

They say he carjacked a victim at the gas station, shooting the victim in the process.

Police say that victim has non-life-threatening injuries.

They released surveillance photos of the suspect, who other officials say is Tate.

Wayne Co. deputy shooting suspect
Wayne Co. deputy shooting suspect(St. Peters Police)

Tate then ditched that vehicle before stealing yet another vehicle with a kidnapped person inside.

Mt. Carmel, Illinois, Police said, around 12:30 p.m., the suspect was believed to be in a hostage situation in Clinton County, Illinois.

According to Illinois State Police, Tate broke into a residence and took the homeowner and the kidnapped victim hostage.

Just before 1:30 p.m., Indiana State Police say the suspect was taken into custody. Officials say the homeowner and the kidnapped victim were not hurt.

For some time, there was believed to be a second suspect, but troopers say it turned out to be another victim from the hostage situation.

Illinois State Police says Tate has been taken to the Clinton County Jail, and he’s facing first-degree murder charges.

Ray Tate.
Ray Tate.(Source: Illinois State Police)

The body of Deputy Riley was brought to the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office around 10 a.m.

Area law enforcement agencies, including the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department, helped escort the fallen deputy to the Vanderburgh County Morgue.

The first escort carrying the fallen deputy passed through I-64 and Highway 41 just before 9:30 a.m. See that here:

Another escort around carried him back to Illinois just after 2:30 p.m. Here is video from I-64 at Highway 65:

The body of Deputy Riley then returned to Wayne County just before 4 p.m. Dozens of law enforcement vehicles participated. Here’s that video:

The Knox County, Indiana, Sheriff tells 14 News that Tate was wanted in a shooting incident on Dec. 16.

They say Tate, who is from Kentucky, fired a round into a man’s car in an attempted carjacking. They say the bullet missed the intended victim.

Ray Tate
Ray Tate(Knox Co. Sheriff's Office)

Westbound I-64 was closed near the Indiana-Illinois border for several hours Wednesday morning, but it’s now open.

The Bedford Township Fire Department said they are having a benefit dinner for Deputy Riley’s family. It will be Saturday, Jan. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Cisne/Bedford Twp. Fire Department. That’s at 303 Railroad Street in Cisne.

They say all the food will be provided through donations.

Here was our team coverage from 14 News at 6 p.m.

Here was our coverage from 14 News at 11 a.m.

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