EVANSVILLE – The Wayne County Deputy who was killed early Wednesday morning in eastern Illinois has been identified as Sean Riley. He was 38 years old. Police say he was helping a driver when he was ambushed.
Fairfield, Illinois Mayor Mike Dreith says his community is heartbroken.
“Our police officers mean a great deal to us, and when you take a situation like this an officer who has a young family, it moves us,” said Mayor Mike Dreith.
“It’s hard to understand how stopping to help someone on the interstate can cost you your life,” Wayne County resident Gene Kollak tells WEHT-TV. “And everything I know about Sean, he was the type of person to give you the shirt off his back. And I’m sure when he saw blinking lights on the interstate at 5 in the morning, his first thought was, ‘I’m going to stop and see what this guy needs.”
A line of police cars escorted Deputy Riley’s body to the Vanderburgh County Morgue in Evansville. A second procession returned his body home to Wayne County.
Ray Tate of Hopkinsville, Kentucky has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley. He was arrested in western Illinois after a multi-state crime spree.