Military Member Charged In Shooting At Illinois Bowling Alley That Left 3 Dead
Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET Sunday
An active member of the military was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder on Sunday following a shooting on the day after Christmas at a bowling alley in Rockford, Ill.
The suspect was identified as 37-year-old Duke Webb of Florida.
"We believe this is a completely random act," said Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea at a Sunday morning news conference. O'Shea said police do not believe the victims and suspect had any type of relationship. He said police cannot discuss motive at this time.
Three men — ages 65, 69 and 73 — were killed in the shooting. Their identities have not been released by the coroner's office.
Three others were wounded in the shooting. Two of the victims were teenagers — a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the face and a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the shoulder. Authorities said the boy is in stable condition after being airlifted to the hospital and the girl was treated and released.
A 62-year-old man was shot multiple times and underwent surgery overnight. Police said he was still in critical condition as of Sunday morning.
The gunman is believed to have shot from both outside and inside the venue, which had up to 25 people inside, O'Shea said.
Police received multiple 911 calls about the incident and arrived about a minute later, he said. Police apprehended the suspect without using their weapons.
The police chief said the suspect tried to hide his weapons — two handguns — before officers were able to apprehend him.
"A heinous act of violence by an evil coward took innocent life tonight. The entire bowling community mourns the senseless loss of life and prays for the families," Don Carter Lanes, the venue where the shooting occurred, said in a statement. "God please be with their friends and families."
The venue said it will host a candlelight vigil for the victims on Tuesday.
The business was open and in compliance with the city's coronavirus guidelines, O'Shea said, responding to concerns that it should have been closed.
Rockford, a city about 85 miles west of Chicago and with a population of nearly 150,000, has recorded 35 homicides this year, making it the deadliest year on record, according to WREX, the local NBC affiliate.
In October, authorities called gun violence a second "pandemic" plaguing the city.
"This type of violence in the city of Rockford needs to stop," Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said during the media briefing. "This type of violence throughout our country needs to stop."
Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.