A shooting at a bowling alley bar in Rockford, Illinois on December 26th has left 3 dead and 3 hospitalized with the military and civilian communities wondering, why? It’s a weird shooter situation which doesn’t seem to add up. Matthew Rider, a witness told local affiliate WTVO “It was just 15 minutes of Terror”.
#BREAKING: Three dead, three wounded in mass shooting incident at bowling alley in Rockford, Illinois
— I.E.N. (@BreakingIEN) December 27, 2020
Who is the Shooter?
Army Sgt. 1st Class Duke Webb, 37 of Shalimar, FL, was taken into custody at the scene attempting to conceal his firearm as he approached police after the fifteen minute incident unfolded.
According to a US Army Statement “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 when the shooting occurred.”
Colonel John W. Sannes commanding the 4th Special Forces Group (Airborne) said,
“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,”
CBS News reported that Major General John Brennan of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) is Webb’s Commanding Officer Maj. Gen. Brennan issued a statement as well, saying “The alleged actions of Sgt. 1st Class Duke Webb are abhorrent and are absolutely not representative of the Special Forces Regiment. The vast majority of men and women Green Berets live up to their storied reputation and earn their beret every day. The actions described in reports are shocking and completely out of character with Webb’s 12 years of honorable service. The Rockford Police Department has our complete cooperation. Our heavy hearts and prayers are with the families affected.” According to various outlets the Army is providing support and cooperation to the local Rockford Police.
Who were the victims?
The Tampa Bay Times wrote that up to 25 people were at the Don Carter Lanes where the shooting took place. Most of them escaped or hid, according to Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea. O’Shea told a press conference,
- Three men were killed,
- 73-year-old Dennis Steinhoff,
- 69-year-old Thomas Furseth,
- 65-year-old Jerome Woodfork.
- A 14-year-old boy was shot in the face and airlifted to a hospital in Madison in stable condition.
- 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.
“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.
Cheif O’Shea also added that “Most of the incident was captured on surveillance video from inside the business,” and that authorities are studying footage of the shooter.
A Detailed Look at the Incident
CBS Chicago reports that Winnebago County prosecutors identified the victims during a Press Conference,
“Prosecutors said four teenagers were sitting at a table at the bowling alley when Webb started shooting at them. A 14-year-old girl was shot in the shoulder and a 14-year-old boy was shot in the face. Both survived.
Furseth began running toward the stairs at the bowling alley when Webb started shooting. Webb shot him in the torso, and Furseth collapsed on the stairs and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to prosecutors.
After shooting Furseth, prosecutors said Webb went upstairs to the second floor, where 20 to 25 people were gathered at the bar. Webb fired several shots at the group in the bar, hitting Steinhoff in the torso. Woodfork also was wounded in that volley, and witnesses saw him fall from the second floor balcony to the parking lot below. Steinhoff and Woodfork both were pronounced dead at the scene.
A 62-year-old an who was in the bar on the second floor also was shot in the thigh, back, neck, groin, and buttocks. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition.”
What was the Motive of the Shooter?
There is no information on a motive available at this time. The implications are serious however. What would drive a seasoned Special Forces Intelligence and Operations Sergeant with 12 years on the job to go on a random bar-room shooting spree? COVID19 restrictions? Alcohol abuse? Holiday-related depression? Family crisis? PTSD Maybe? We don’t know yet. But Webb‘s attorney says he was suffering from PTSD and had an appointment regarding a traumatic brain injury.
But that isn’t stopping BLM, Anti-Police and left wing Twitter users from rapidly assigning a racial motivation to this crime despite a complete lack of evidence, and of course tangentially linking it to the recent Police involved shooting of Andre Hill. And given the recent bombing in Nashville, tensions are high.
A suspected white supremacist mass shooter went into a bowling alley in IL, & opened fire on multiple Black ppl, killing & wounding many. The media is downplaying the fact that the victims are Black, and the police are saying they don't know the motives https://t.co/Kqea754o0h
— Tariq Nasheed ?? (@tariqnasheed) December 27, 2020
Some locals drew comparison to Rockford PD’s responses to the shooter and Andre Hill. heavy.com wrote,
Jamar Luster, who owns Ripe Life Juice Co., wrote on Facebook, “Last night I watched a young Black man jump out his car with his Dad and run to the police and ambulance with his hands up bc he was shot in the face. They pulled guns on him immediately before he collapsed begging for help Looks like they caught the shooter without a fight tho! Smh!”