An active member of the Army has been charged with three counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder after a shooting at a bowling alley in Rockford, Illinois.
The suspect was identified as a 37-year-old Duke of Webb from Florida.
“We think this is a totally random act,” Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea told a news conference. O’Shea said the police did not believe the victims and the suspects had any kind of relationship. He said the police could not discuss the motives at this time.
Three men – ages 65, 69, and 73 – were killed in the shooting. Their identities were not disclosed by the forensic medical office.
Three others were wounded in the shooting. Two of the victims were teenagers – a 14-year-old boy was shot in the face and a 16-year-old girl shot in the shoulder. The authorities said that the boy’s condition was stable after being airlifted to hospital, and the girl was treated and discharged.
A 62-year-old man was hit by several bullets and underwent surgery overnight. Police said he was still in critical condition as of Sunday morning.
O’Shea said he believed the gunman fired from inside and outside the place, which was holding 25 people.
He said the police received several 911 phone calls about the accident and arrived about a minute later. The police arrested the suspect without using their weapons.
The police chief said the suspect tried to hide his weapons – two pistols – before officers could arrest him.
Don Carter Linz, the scene of the shooting, said in a statement: “An outrageous act of violence by a vicious coward that took innocent lives tonight. The entire bowling community mourns the foolish loss of life and prays for families.” “God is with their friends and family.”
The venue said it would host a candlelight vigil for the victims on Tuesday.
O’Shea said business is open and in compliance with coronavirus guidelines in the city, in response to concerns it should have been shut down.
Rockford, which is 85 miles west of Chicago and has a population of nearly 150,000, recorded 35 homicides this year, making it the bloodiest year on record.
The authorities described gun violence as a second “pandemic” afflicting the city.
“This kind of violence in Rockford needs to stop,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said during a news conference. This kind of violence must stop in all parts of our country.