A 37-year-old military member has been charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder after police say he gunned down multiple people at random in an Illinois bowling alley.
Three people were killed and three others were injured in the shooting, which broke out shortly before 7 p.m. local time Saturday at Don Carter Lanes, a complex with a bowling alley, bar and off-track betting site. Most of the complex was closed per COVID-19 safety protocol.
Duke Webb of Florida, who is an active U.S. Army member, is being held in the Winnebago County Jail without bond. He’s scheduled to make his first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Monday. He is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.
He is charged with fatally shooting three men ages 73, 65, and 69. He also is accused of shooting and wounding a 14-year-old boy, who was shot in the face and airlifted to a hospital in Madison, a 16-year-old female and a 62-year-old man, who is in critical condition after undergoing surgery from the shooting.
“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,” Police Chief Dan O’Shea said.
Webb was taken into custody within several minutes of officers arriving on the scene. He had attempted to conceal his identity and hide weapons from officers, O’Shea said. Two handguns were recovered from the scene. No officers fired their weapons while bringing Webb into custody.
“Most of the incident was captured on surveillance video from inside the business,” O’Shea said. “The investigators have the surveillance videos and they’ll go through those.”
O’Shea said shots were fired inside and outside of the bowling alley in this city of 150,000 people, 90 miles west of Chicago.
Mayor Tom McNamara released a statement saying he was “angered and saddened” about the shooting.
“My thoughts are with the families of those who lost loved ones,” McNamara said. “I’m also thinking of those who were injured and my hopes are with them for a quick and full recovery.”
The shooting comes near the end of what’s been the deadliest year on record in Rockford. There have now been 35 homicides in the city this year, the most of any year on records dating back to 1965. The next highest had been 31 recorded in 1996.
The city also endured 21% more violent crimes and 49% more shots fired through November this year, according to the latest police data released Thursday.