ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO – Ray Tate is currently in custody, accused of fatally shooting Wayne County (Illinois) Sheriff’s deputy Sean Riley on December 29, 2021.
Tate, 40, is from Hopkinsville, KY.
Obviously, loss of life is the most tragic thing that could occur during Tate’s alleged crime spree, but the list of violent felony charges against him continues to grow.
On top of the first-degree murder charge in Deputy Riley’s death, Tate is now facing 14 felony charges out of St. Charles County, roughly 150 miles west of where he is believed to have committed the killing.
These additional charges include armed robbery, kidnapping, first-degree assault, vehicular hijacking and armed criminal action.
He is also wanted in connection to a shooting and attempted carjacking in Indiana.
That brings the geographical reach of his violent spree to three states.
To further compound the problems for Tate, federal prosecutors are considering bringing charges against him as well.
Here is a partial timeline of the actions that led to his arrest, courtesy of KSDK.
In a Facebook post, 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.
Around 5 a.m.
Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley responded to a ‘motorist assist’ call on Interstate 64 in Illinois.
Wayne County is approximately two hours from the St. Louis area just east of Mt. Vernon, Illinois.
Another officer found Deputy Riley’s body at the scene, but his squad car was missing.
Officers found the squad car along I-64, but they said Tate got into a tractor-trailer before officers arrived and forced the driver at gunpoint to take him to St. Peters, Missouri.
Around 7 a.m.
St. Peters, Missouri, police report a carjacking and shooting at the QuikTrip at 391 Main Street.
Police say Tate tried unsuccessfully to carjack someone at the QuikTrip. When he couldn’t, he moved onto a different victim, who he shot in the shoulder before stealing his car.
That victim was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and police found the vehicle at a business in an industrial area in O’Fallon, Missouri, off Interstate 70, about a mile away.
There, O’Fallon police said Tate saw a man get out of a white Nissan Titan pickup for a cigarette and asked him if he could have a cigarette. He then forced the truck owner to drive him away at gunpoint.
That was captured by surveillance cameras at that business.
A large police presence formed at a house on Beaver Road just north of Carlyle, Illinois where police say Tate drove the pickup and forced his way into a home where he held the kidnapped victim from the pickup truck and the homeowner against their will.
The pickup truck owner managed to escape, but the homeowner remained held at gunpoint.
The homeowner told [KSDK] Tate held a gun to his forehead while on the phone with police and forced him to tell police where the gun was pointed before moving the gun away from his head and firing it.
Police tracked Tate to that house by a smart watch the pickup truck owner was wearing.
Officers with the Illinois State Police SWAT division arrested him.
Around 1:30 p.m.
Indiana State Police confirmed Tate was wanted in connection to the Wayne County deadly shooting and St. Peters carjacking and that he was taken into custody near Carlyle, Illinois.”
Fortunately, Ray Tate is behind bars. His bond on the murder charge in Wayne County is $5M by itself. Sources said that the charges in Missouri could see him face life in prison if convicted.
Got him! Man accused of murdering deputy then committing string of violent crimes arrested
MILL SHOALS, IL – A standoff outside of a home in Clinton County, Illinois led to the arrest of a man who allegedly killed a Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy.
The man is also suspected of committing a series of violent crimes after he allegedly killed the deputy.
ISP ARRESTS SUSPECT THAT MURDERED WAYNE COUNTY DEPUTY pic.twitter.com/yPo8Scq0f1
— IllinoisStatePolice (@ILStatePolice) December 30, 2021
Police reported that a man from Kentucky has been arrested and charged with the shooting death of Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley.
The suspect in the case, identified as Ray Tate, allegedly led police through two different states as he fled apprehension.
Tate’s attempt at evading law enforcement started when Deputy Riley stopped out to help a motorist on the side of I-64 near Mill Shoals around 5 am.
Another law enforcement officer who heard Deputy Riley checking out with the motorist responded to assist. When he arrived on the scene, Deputy Riley’s vehicle was missing, and he found the slain officer on the ground.
Detectives immediately started their manhunt for Tate which initially led them to a QuikTrip convenience store in St. Peters. A man at this convenience store claimed that Tate somehow took him hostage and forced him to drive to this location in his semi-truck.
A man suspected of killing a Wayne County, Illinois, Sheriff's Office deputy and then going on a crime spree was arrested Wednesday, Illinois State Police said in a news release https://t.co/Xn9Yz71TuD
— CNN (@CNN) December 30, 2021
After Tate allegedly let the driver of the semi-truck go, he got into a different vehicle and made it to O’Fallon, Missouri.
Police noted afterward they were able to spot him on police surveillance video driving a white Nissan Titan truck with Missouri plates.
After he was allegedly spotted on police surveillance video, Illinois State Police reported that Tate went on a series of different criminal escapades including a “series” of carjackings, shootings, and robberies in the state of Missouri.
After the crime spree in that state, Tate allegedly made his way back to Illinois after kidnapping another person in a stolen vehicle.
Police reported that Tate broke into a residence in the City of Carlyle which is in Clinton County. Once inside the home, Tate allegedly took the homeowner and another person hostage as police closed in.
The Illinois State Police activated their SWAT team which responded to and entered the home just before 2 pm and was able to take Tate into custody. Thankfully, no one else was injured in the standoff.
After Tate’s arrest, Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly issued a written statement in which he acknowledged all of the law enforcement officer’s efforts at locating and arresting the alleged cop killer. He said:
“On behalf of the Illinois State Police, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Wayne County Deputy Sean Riley’s family, friends, and brothers and sisters at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Once again, the Illinois State Police has safely apprehended an alleged cop killer with exceptional professionalism, patience and persistence standing side by side with all Illinois law enforcement through another dark and difficult moment.
Mercifully, this incident was concluded with no further harm to first responders, and this defendant will now face justice.”
Democrat Illinois Governor JB Pritzker took to Twitter to express his condolences:
“Sending my deepest condolences to the family of Deputy Sean Riley and the entire Wayne County community. Deputy Riley bravely protected his fellow neighbors and our state will honor his memory.”
Sending my deepest condolences to the family of Deputy Sean Riley and the entire Wayne County community.
Deputy Riley bravely protected his fellow neighbors and our state will honor his memory. pic.twitter.com/P23t96X17v
— Governor JB Pritzker (@GovPritzker) December 30, 2021
Melissa Doss, a spokeswoman for the St. Peters Police Department also weighed in on the tragic loss of the deputy just days after Christmas. Doss said:
“He [Riley] was on a call that many of us go on several times a day, a motorist assist. 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.”