Ray Tate of Hopkinsville, Kentucky has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley.
Officer Melissa Doss, a spokeswoman for the St. Peters Police Department, described Riley’s death as devastating.
“He was on a call that many of us go on several times a day, a motorist assist,” Doss said. “It’s not something that you’re expecting to be assaulted or lose your life over. So, our hearts are with Wayne County Deputy Sheriff’s Department and the deputy’s family.”
Riley was shot and killed on the job on Interstate 64 at around 5 a.m. near Mill Shoals, Illinois, during a traffic stop. The deputy’s squad car was missing from the scene and then found abandoned on I-64. It is not clear how the suspect got to the St. Peters area but they were investigating a semi-truck in the gas station’s parking lot.
Around 7 a.m., a man was shot in the shoulder and carjacked at a St. Peters QuikTrip. St. Peters police said they found evidence at the QuikTrip connecting the Ray Tate to Deputy Riley’s killing.
“We have evidence at the QuikTrip that suggests the same person involved in the crimes over in Illinois which included the death of the Wayne County deputy,” Doss said.
Throughout the day, the QuikTrip was closed and blocked off with crime scene tape for hours as detectives gathered evidence the stolen vehicle was later found in O’Fallon, Missouri in a business park off Interstate 70 after ditching that car. The suspect reportedly stole a Nissan truck and went back to Illinois with an innocent bystander that he’d kidnapped.
Tate was arrested just before 1:45 p.m. after barricading himself inside someone else’s home in Carlyle, Illinois. The kidnapping victim and homeowner were uninjured.
According to the Kentucky Department of Corrections’ online offender lookup, Tate was on mandatory reentry supervision, which ended Dec. 21. The department listed prior offenses ranging from evading police, unlawful possession of meth, promoting contraband and wanton endangerment.