US Army sergeant charged in Illinois bowling alley shooting that killed 3
A US Army special forces sergeant based in Florida has been charged in an apparently random shooting at an Illinois bowling alley that left three people dead and three wounded, authorities said Sunday.
Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said Duke Webb, 37, has been charged with three counts of murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder in the shooting at Don Carter Lanes, in Rockford, on Saturday evening. While no bowling is currently allowed due to state-imposed coronavirus restrictions, a bar linked to the business was legally open.
Webb was taken into custody shortly after the shooting at around 7 p.m., Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said at a news conference Sunday morning.
“I am very confident the officers that were on the scene in the building were able to stop further violence,” O’Shea said.
He said the three who died were all men, aged 73, 65 and 69, but did not provide names.
Additionally, he said, a 14-year-old boy was shot in the face and airlifted to a hospital in Madison in stable condition, and a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the shoulder was treated at a hospital and released. A 62-year-old man underwent surgery overnight after suffering multiple gunshot wounds and is in critical condition, the chief said.
The suspect has no known ties to the victims, O’Shea said.
“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,” O’Shea said. He did not provide information on what led up to the shooting.
The US Army said Webb is a Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), located at Camp Bull Simons, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He joined the Army in 2008 and was on leave Saturday.
“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,” Col. John W. Sannes, commander of 7th Special Forces Group, said in a statement.
The bowling alley was closed at the time of the shooting, in accordance with restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, O’Shea said. But a bar upstairs was open. The chief said the upstairs venue has double doors that open to the outside, ensuring the bar is in compliance with Illinois’ Covid-19 mitigation guidance.
Up to 25 people were at Don Carter Lanes when the shooting happened, but most of them escaped or hid, O’Shea said. He declined to say whether the shootings happened in the bar or elsewhere in the building, saying those details would come out in court. The teens who were wounded were picking up food at the carryout section of the bowling alley, he said.
He said the suspect tried to conceal his weapons before his arrest, and that he was apprehended without officers firing a shot.
“Most of the incident was captured on surveillance video from inside the business,” O’Shea said, adding that investigators are studying captured images.
O’Shea said investigators are in touch with the Army. He didn’t explain why the Florida man was in Illinois. The Army said it will provide full assistance in the police investigation.
The Rockford Register Star reported that 2020 has been the deadliest year on record for homicides in the city of about 170,000 residents about 80 miles (130 kilometers) 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 we look ahead at this New Year upon us, we know that this type of violence needs to stop,” Mayor Tom McNamara said. “... And today, with the eyes of the country upon us, we need to show as Rockfordians how we respond to an incident such as this, as one Rockford, supporting one another.”
According to an AFP report, Swedish public support for NATO membership has risen to nearly 50 per cent in the aftermath of the Ukraine war. The situation is the same in Finland, with the AFP report revealing that the number of Finns who want to join NATO has climbed to more than three-quarters - almost triple the level before the Ukraine war.
Nearly one in 25 people in a county in the Uyghur heartland of China has been sentenced to prison on terrorism-related charges, in what is the highest known imprisonment rate in the world, an Associated Press review of leaked data shows. A list obtained and partially verified by the AP cites the names of more than 10,000 Uyghurs sent to prison in just Konasheher county alone, one of dozens in southern Xinjiang.
Shanghai will reopen gradually and resume “normal life” from June 1 after stamping out its Covid-19 infections from 15 of its 16 districts, a city official said on Monday, releasing a staggered timetable for lifting the current lockdown over the next two weeks. “Shanghai has planned its epidemic control work for the coming period, dividing it into three stages,” deputy mayor Zong Ming said. “Low social movement” will mark the initial period of opening up.
Ukrainian forces opened a dam early in the war in Demydiv, causing the Irpin River to flood the village and thousands of acres around. The move has since been credited with stopping Russian soldiers and tanks from breaking through Ukraine's lines.
The Sri Lankan government on Monday imposed a nine-hour curfew amid continued unrest in the island nation. According to reports from local media, the curfew will be imposed from 8pm Monday and remain in force till 5am Tuesday. The announcement came a day after Sri Lanka said more than 200 people were arrested on various charges, including violation of curfew, attacking the public and causing damage to public and private properties.