STORY UPDATE (POSTED TUESDAY MORNING, MARCH 20)
In an update to the story we broadcast Monday concerning the shooting in Taylorville, Illinois State Police report the central Illinois man stopped his crime spree after running out of places to run and turning his gun on himself.
Troopers say Lee Wayne Kennedy, age 43, allegedly started his spree Monday, about 5:00 a.m., when he allegedly shot his wife, his 13-year-old daughter, and another person in Taylorville. Investigators say he then sped off, triggering a massive manhunt across central and Southern Illinois.
According to Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile, Kennedy parked his truck at the McDonald’s in Hillsboro, where he told employees someone would tow it away later, then stole a vehicle and headed north again.
Hile says Kennedy allegedly robbed a store in Stonington then headed back to Taylorville. Around 4:00 p.m., Kennedy was spotted by police driving on a rural road and a pursuit ensued.
Kennedy drove to Taylorville Memorial Hospital where he crashed into a roundabout. He allegedly had a handgun when he got out of the car and officers ordered him to drop the gun. He then shot himself.
Kennedy was taken inside the hospital where he was stabilized and transferred, with life-threatening injuries, to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Chief Hile said an update on Kennedy’s condition was not known.
OUR ORIGINAL STORY FOLLOWS…
Taylorville Police are searching for a man who allegedly shot three people today, including a 13 year old child. Fox 2 News reports the shooting happened this morning in the 500 block of South Walnut Street in Taylorville.
All three victims were reportedly taken to Taylorville Memorial Hospital before being transferred to Springfield area hospitals for treatment.
According to Fox 2, the man wanted in connection to the shootings is 43-year-old Lee Wayne Kennedy. Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous.
The Belleville News Democrat reports the three victims are Kennedy’s family members.
On Saturday, Kennedy posted on his personal Facebook account, “So someone close, pretty much family, that I have known 20+ yrs, decides to stab me in the back. She has been sharing information with my ex on many occasions. Just know I know and you have yours coming. If your boyfriend wants to step in he gets what he gets.”
Another post read, “So, she has decided to not only to try to keep my kids from me but to visit my child from another mother and try to be part of my soon to be granddaughters life. Sorry you forfeited that right. I’ve left her alone but it seems some attention. She has made some bad decisions and very soon I feel she will reap what she sewn.”
Taylorville Police Chief Brian Hile told the BND Kennedy has made threats in the past.
Kennedy was last seen driving a white 1996 GMC Sierra extended cab truck, with Illinois registration 2363510B. It is believed he may be headed back to the Southern Illinois area.
WAND, an NBC station in Central, IL, reports that Kennedy’s truck was found at a McDonald’s in Hillsboro, this afternoon.
WRSP, a Fox affiliate in northern Illinois, says one victim has a valid Order of Protection against Kennedy and that a domestic violence situation has been ongoing.
Area schools were on lockdown today. At about 1:30 PM today, the Hillsboro School District posted on their Facebook page that all exterior doors of their schools had been locked and student movement was limited. They said there were no known sightings of Kennedy.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of 43 year old Lee Wayne Kennedy is asked to call 911 immediately.