Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Dead From Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

A 37-year-old former Wayne County Sheriff’s deputy is dead following an armed standoff with police Friday morning at his home in Jasper County.

Lee Rankin reportedly died Friday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. A SWAT team sent in a robot into the home during the standoff and found Rankin dead.

Rankin left the department following his arrest earlier this year in rural Fairfield for alleged domestic battery of his wife.

Following his arrest in May, authorities seized all firearms from Rankin’s home, per Illinois’ domestic violence laws. The incident was initially reported to a friend of Rankin’s wife, who then contacted the Illinois State Police.

An additional charge of criminal damage to government property was filed against Rankin in September when he allegedly became angry and broke a table at the sheriff’s department.

Friday’s standoff reportedly began late Thursday evening with a family argument after Rankin had been served with divorce papers.

Rankin had been an employee of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department since 2003 until he was suspended without pay pending his domestic battery case.

Rankin was also a member of the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System SWAT Team.