Police authorities have charged a serving Special Forces soldier with murder after three people were confirmed killed and three others injured in a shooting that occurred on Saturday at a bowling alley in Rockford, Illinois.
Rockford Police Chief Daniel O’Shea told newsmen that the police were contacted about a shooting that occurred at Don Carter Lanes in the evening of Saturday. According to O’Shea, when officers arrived at the scene, they witnessed several rounds of gunfire from inside the building. However, after a couple of minutes, they were able to round up the suspect without any further shooting incident.
The suspect was eventually identified as Duke Webb, a white male. He attempted to disguise his identity from the police and also hide his weapons from the officers.
Webb, 37, resides in Florida and is still a serving soldier. Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said during a press briefing that the suspect was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. It is yet to be established if Webb was represented by an attorney.
The US Army confirmed the active-duty status of Webb. The Army authorities said that Webb, a sergeant first class is currently deployed at the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, based in Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, as an assistant operation and intelligence sergeant. He was said to have enlisted into the Army in 2008. The Army noted that he was on leave when the sad incident occurred on Saturday, CBS News writes.
The Army’s Special Forces, often referred to as the Green Berets, due to their unique service headgear, are a special operations force of the US Army trained to engage in unconventional warfare, counter-insurgency special reconnaissance, and other specialized missions, especially abroad.
The Army said in a statement that it would offer the Rockford Police Department all the help it needs in their investigations. Colonel John W. Sannes, commander of the 7th Special Forces Group, said the Army was shocked and saddened to learn of the unfortunate incident. He extended condolences and prayers for the families of the deceased and the injured.
O’Shea confirmed that the Rockford Police Department was in collaboration with the Army to get to the root of the matter.
When officers arrived at the scene, O’Shea confirmed that they found three people dead already and three others wounded from gunshots. The wounded were subsequently taken to the hospital for treatment. The police are treating the shooting as a random, unprovoked attack by the shooter. The surveillance camera located at the bowling alley captured most of the shooting event.
While the identities of the three victims are yet to be released, it is confirmed that three elderly males aged 65, 69, and 73 died from the shooting incident. The injured victims include a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the face, a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the shoulder, and a 62-year-old man who was shot multiple times. While the two teenagers have received treatment and are in stable condition, the elderly man has undergone surgery but is in critical condition.
The mayor of Rockford, Tom McNamara, sent out a condolence message to the families of the victims via social media. He said he was angered and saddened at the events in the bowling alley. In a message posted on Facebook, the management of the bowling alley asked everyone to pray for the victims.