A US serviceman has been charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder.
A US serviceman from Florida has been charged in an Illinois bowling alley shooting in which three people were killed and three others injured, authorities said.
Winnebago County State Attorney J Hanley said Duke Webb, 37, was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder in the shooting at Don Carter Lanes , in Rockford, Saturday night.
Webb was taken into custody shortly after the shooting at around 7 p.m. (1 a.m. GMT Sunday), Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said at a press conference on Sunday morning.
“I am very confident that the officers who were at the scene in the building were able to end further violence,” O’Shea said.
He said the three dead were all men, aged 73, 65 and 69, but did not provide their names.
Additionally, he said, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the face and airlifted to Madison Hospital in stable condition, and a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the shoulder was treated in hospital and released. A 62-year-old man was operated on overnight after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds and is in critical condition, the chief said.
The bowling alley was closed at the time of the shooting, in line with restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, O’Shea said. But an upstairs bar was open. The chef said the upstairs venue had double doors that open to the outside, ensuring the bar meets Illinois COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.
Up to 25 people were at Don Carter Lanes when the shooting took place, but most escaped or went into hiding, O’Shea said. The teens who were injured were picking up food in the bowling lane’s transport section, he said.
He said the suspect tried to conceal his weapons prior to his arrest and was apprehended without officers firing a shot. Webb is an active soldier and investigators are in contact with the U.S. military, O’Shea said.
The Rockford Register Star reported that 2020 was the deadliest year on record for homicides in the city of nearly 170,000 people about 80 miles northwest of Chicago. Thirty-five people have been killed in the city this year, breaking the previous record of 31 in 1996.
“As we come to the end of this most difficult year and look forward to the New Year on us, we know this kind of violence must stop,” Mayor Tom McNamara said.
“And today, with the eyes of the country on us, we have to show as Rockfordians how we react to an incident like this, as Rockford supporting each other.