A grandmother, a young couple and their two small children, 1 and 5, were found slain in a home in the small town of Manchester, about 50 miles southwest of Springfield, according to police and relatives.
The suspected gunman died hours later after he exchanged gunfire with police during a chase, officials said. Police identified him as Rick Odell Smith, 43, who lived in Roodhouse about five miles from Manchester.
The slain family members were identified by relatives as: Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter Brittany Luark, 22, her boyfriend Roy Ralston, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Brantley Ralston, 1.
Another child, Kassidy Ralston, 6, was in serious condition, according to Brad Teeter, Sinclair's son-in-law.