Ronald “Butch” Cobren Jr. Death: After a violent shooting spree in Ashland, Ill., on Thursday night, four people were killed, including the suspect, and one person is in the hospital with wounds that could kill them. When Cass County Sheriff Devron Ohrn saw the names of the people who were shot and the person he thought did it, he didn’t have to do a lot of studies to figure out what was going on.
Investigators say the trouble began Thursday night at a run-down country home west of Springfield, where EMS was called to help someone who had been shot in the stomach. When first rescuers got there, they found Autumn Bell, 19, dead from a gunshot wound. Last month, Bell shared a picture of herself and her boyfriend enjoying the birth of their first child on social media. The picture was taken during an ultrasound.
A GoFundMe Account has been created by the family to help raise funds for the funeral. ”This family has suffered an unimaginable tragedy. Dec 14th, 2023 Chrissy, Alaria, Autumn, and an unborn baby were tragically shot and killed. The family needs this community and surrounding communities to come together like never before and help them lay these three beautiful souls to rest. I will share the press release of the Cass County Sheriff’s Department below.”
Police also found a man who had been shot, he was transported to the hospital with injuries deemed life-threatening. Eliana Bell, 16, and Christina Bell, 53, were also found dead when the police came.
Police say that the killers are 62-year-old Ronald “Butch” Cobren Jr. The person who lived in Ashland for a long time was a retired US mail worker. Facebook posts by both of them and friends said that he was also Christina Bell’s new fiancé. Soon after finding bodies in two places, police located Cobren’s car near North Main and Oak Street in nearby Jacksonville, Illinois, and stopped it for speeding.
Police said they found the person they thought shot someone dead in their car. The person had shot themselves. Police from Ashland, Beardstown, Pleasant Plains, Cass County, and Menard County were all involved in the case. They were the Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations, the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Division, the Illinois State Police Patrol, and the Menard County Sheriff’s Office.
Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies, Ashland Police Department, Beardstown Police Department, and Beardstown EMS were called to 308 Philadelphia Road (Rural) Ashland, IL on December 14, 2023, for a male who had been shot. The Illinois State Police and the Pleasant Plains Police Department were also called in. Cass County Sheriff’s Deputies and Ashland Police Department officers arrived to find a male with a gunshot wound and a deceased female at the residence.
Until EMS arrived, deputies provided medical assistance to the male victim. The Cass County Sheriff’s Office, Ashland Police, and Beardstown Police responded to a residence in Ashland, IL, based on information provided by the male victim, and discovered two other female victims deceased. A suspect and a suspect vehicle were identified during the preliminary investigation.
A short time later, the Jacksonville Police Department discovered the suspicious vehicle on North Main and Oak Street in Jacksonville and stopped it. The suspect was discovered inside the vehicle with a gunshot wound that seemed to be self-inflicted. The Morgan County Coroner’s Office pronounced the male suspect dead on the spot. The remaining male victim was sent to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
The investigation is still in progress. The police agencies involved in the case were the Illinois State Police Zone 4 Investigations, the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Division, the Illinois State Police Patrol, the Ashland Police Department, the Beardstown Police Department, the Pleasant Plains Police Department, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and the Menard County Sheriff’s Office. Please remember the families and communities affected by these atrocities in your thoughts and prayers. This afternoon, further information will be made available.
Christina Bell Obituary and Funeral Arrangements will be Released by the Family
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