Army special forces sergeant charged in Rockford bowling alley shooting in Illinois at Don Carter Lanes outlet. No known motive as shooting described as random act.
A US Army special-forces sergeant has been charged with shooting six people in a random attack at an Illinois bowling-alley bar, Saturday night — killing three along with injuring three others, including a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the face, according to cops.
Duke Webb, 37, of Florida was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder come Sunday according to police and prosecutors.
Webb’s fatalities ranged in ages from, 73, 65 and 69. Injured were two teens, a 14 year old boy and a 16 year old girl along with a 62 year old man USAToday reported.
‘We believe this was a completely random act and there is no prior meeting or any kind of relationship between the suspect and any of the victims in this case,’ Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said of the shooting which took place at the Don Carter Lanes bowling alley at Rockford, Illinois.
The Army confirmed Webb being a Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence sergeant assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), located at Camp Bull Simons at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Was on leave at time of shooting
Webb joined the Army in 2008 and was on leave when the shooting occurred, the Army said, without elaborating why. It was unclear why Webb was in Illinois.
‘We are shocked and saddened to learn about this tragic event, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and wounded,’ Webb’s commander, Col. John W. Sannes, said in a statement, as the Army vowed ‘full assistance’ in the investigation.
Webb was detained minutes after police arrived at the 7 p.m. bloodbath at the outside Shooters Bar, the only part of the Don Carter Lanes bowling-alley complex open during coronavirus restrictions.
The suspect tried to hide his weapons — with two handguns recovered at the scene. The suspect was arrested without officers having to open fire, O’Shea said.
‘I am very confident the officers that were on the scene in the building were able to stop further violence,’ O’Shea said.
The three dead were all men, ages 65, 69 and 73. None have yet been identified.
The boy shot in the face was in stable condition after being airlifted to a hospital in Madison, O’Shea said at a news conference Sunday morning.
‘Heinous act of violence by an evil coward’
Another teen, a 16-year-old girl, was shot in the shoulder and discharged after treatment. A 62-year-old man was still in critical condition after surgery for multiple gunshot wounds, the chief said.
Both teenagers had been at the bar to pick up takeout food, the chief said.
‘Most of the incident was captured on surveillance video from inside the business,’ the chief said. ‘The investigators have the surveillance videos, and they’ll go through those.’
Webb is being held in the Winnebago County Jail without bond and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon, the Rockford Register Star reported.
The mass shooting capped the deadliest year on record for the city of 150,000 people, 90 miles west of Chicago. Saturday’s killings marked 35 homicides this year, the most of any year on records dating back to 1965. The next highest total was 31, recorded in 1996.
Shooters Bar, in a Facebook posting, called the incident ‘a heinous act of violence by an evil coward [who] took innocent’ lives.
‘How do I comfort my family, my son, my daughter-in-law, my staff [after a] senseless coward [who] decided to do a mass shooting for no reason took our friends from us and hurt other friends and took what would be a safe place and made it scary?’ the manager asked in another post.
‘Our friends and customers will live on in our memories and our hearts they will never be forgotten,’ the post added, revealing a candlelight vigil for Tuesday night.
A motive for Saturday night’s shooting continues to remain unclear.