2 Charged After NIU Football Player Shot Off Campus

Updated 04/06/11 – 11:20 p.m.

DEKALB, Ill. (CBS) — Two young men have been charged with attempted murder after a Northern Illinois University student was critically injured in an off-campus shooting overnight.

Shortly before midnight Tuesday night, DeKalb police received a report of gunshots near Aspen and Hillcrest drives. Police determined that shots had been fired from a vehicle at an apartment at 1009 Aspen Drive.

Devon Butler

Northern Illinois University Linebacker Devon Butler (Credit: Facebook)

A bullet went through the window of an apartment at that building, striking NIU linebacker Devon Butler, who was visiting friends at the apartment, according to police.

According to a news release from the school, Butler was in critical condition at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford.

Just hours before he was shot, Butler was interviewed about his hopes for the upcoming football season.

“Our very first goal is to win the MAC Championship,” he said. “We’re looking forward and whatever comes after that, we’ll follow through with that. But our main goal right now is winning the MAC.”

A witness at the scene of the shooting saw a black SUV, similar in make to a Dodge Durango, leaving the scene, according to police.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, DeKalb police said two men — Mark O. Orozco, 24, and Richard F. Van Arsdale, III, 20, both of DeKalb — have been charged with attempted first degree murder and several other drug and weapons charges. Both suspects are NIU students.

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The shooting apparently was the result of an earlier drug deal. Police said there was no indication that Butler knew about the drug transaction. He was just visiting friends at the apartment at the time of the shooting.

“Oftentimes, you know, when drugs are involved, you have innocent victims. This is another example of that,” DeKalb Police Chief Bill Feithen said.

According to the DeKalb Chronicle, police stopped a black Dodge Durango at about 12:30 a.m. a few blocks away from the shooting. The driver, Rogoberto Zavala, 22, was arrested on two warrants for driving with a suspended license. No weapons were found in the SUV and Zavala was released after posting $500 bond.

Huskies head coach Dave Doeren was at the hospital with Butler on Wednesday and has been in close contact with his family.

“All our thoughts and prayers as a team and as a coaching staff right now are with Devon,” Doeren said. “He’s a member of our family and the most important thing is his health.”

According to the team’s website, Butler, 20, is a junior at NIU, majoring in communication and minoring in physical education. He was born in Englewood, N.J., and went to high school in Florida.

He was selected to the 2010 All-MAC Third Team Defense. In 2010, he ranked second on the team in tackles with 71 and ranked third in tackles for loss with 5.5.

NIU Athletics Director Jeff Compher and the team’s assistant coaches met with players Wednesday morning to advise them of the situation.

“As an athletic department and as a university, I know that we are going to support Devon, his family and his teammates in every way we can,” Compher said. “Our primary focus is on all of our student-athletes at this time.”

Doeren has cancelled all football team activities, including Thursday morning’s spring football practice, until further notice.

The NIU student newspaper, Northern Star, reports that the NIU student is out of surgery after being shot on the right side of his back Tuesday night.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call DeKalb police at 815-748-8400.

  • Erinn

    How could they do that. It is all ridiculous. This two young man should be studying to be a better citizens instead of shooting someone. May be drugs or boos are the culprit. We know that drugs makes people go bananas and if liquor was involved in that too, then they are guilty of whatever they were doing from the SUV.
    Please, let the counselors and the University professors tell them the results of their actions will lead to encarceration and ruin their chances at getting a good job.

  • KE

    I’ll be praying for your recovery Devon

  • Franchesco

    Me too, I will pray hard to God that He will help them to overcome their adiction to any drugs of liquor.
    How many years are they gona be in the slammer if convicted?
    What is gona happen to their future careers?
    And the gun they were using… what kind of gun it was.

  • ashley

    Yeah I don’t understand whats going on with these replies. Praying for the shooters? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Certain mistakes you can forgive. Attempted murder? I don’t think so. There’s something deep within the soul that differentiates murderers from everyone else. There’s nothing to pray for. And I agree, had these been African American men, people here wouldn’t be giving this apologetic BS for them, but rather, racist nastiness.

    I’m hoping for a speedy recovery. I’m getting sick of these things happening.

    • Tyrell

      @Ashley, Rightfully so!!!

  • Anglo-Saxon

    I would expect nothing less from you NWA. These occasional shootings by someone non-black, give you a chance to compare. Bustin’ caps is everyday, “business as usual” for the Bro’s or homies, whatever you call them. But I will agree, these two are bottom of the barrel “White Crackers” !!!

    • Anglo-Saxon

      What happened to NWA?

    • White Citizen

      @Anglo, The use of “White Crackers” is very offensive. It’s exactly the same as using the notorious “N” word. Please have a little respect.

      • White Citizen #2

        I agree, race has nothing to do with this. Maybe people are sympathizing and not “expecting” this from them because they are receiving a higher education, this is always unexpected because it goes against the statistics. This was not a racially motivated attack, it was a stupid, foolish, drug & greed influenced decision.
        Don’t be petty and drag race into this.

  • Jasmo

    these guys are a bunch of hoodlum thugs… just the looking at their mug shot makes me wanna clinch my purse. What is this world coming to where you can’t even get a higher education without hoods like these making it almost impossible.

    • nick

      you dont even know who they are so why judge someone like that i actually know van and he is one of the best guys you can know, he would do anything for you thats why he probally did what he did . so please dont judge someone u dont know.

  • Sean

    I agree with you whole-heartedly, Ashley

  • nump


  • Aisha

    I’ve been at NIU for 3 years and this is the third shooting, it’s ridiculous. I’m praying for Devon and his family

  • Danni

    In response to Ashely,
    I agree, these boys are clearly not in their right mind and do not possess the same kind-hearted, or even rational soul that others possess. I too, am going to be praying for them. I am going to pray that they realize that what they have done has hurt so many. I am going to pray they find God, repent for what they have done and realize their mistake. Although, mostly I am going to pray for the shooters families. They have been hit with a ton of bricks, their sons are in jail for almost taking another man’s life. Their sons, who had bright futures, who clearly were smart enough to get into college and stay in college have made a terrible mistake that has ruined their lives and many others. Their families have been shamed beyond mending, they are most likely going to be sued civilly and will probably lose their home. I also am going to pray for the victim and his family, I hope that he survives this tragedy. I also hope that this incident has not ruined his football career.

    • Jessica

      I agree. Looking at their mugshots, you can see the regret and fear. Even though it isn’t an excuse it makes your heart go out to EVERYONE involved.

      • Rick

        The only regret these two idiots have, is they got caught!!

  • john

    Dude on the left is uglier than a baboons ass

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/?p=120518 Practice Canceled After NIU Football Player’s Shooting « CBS Chicago

    […] NIU linebacker Devon Butler was shot in the back Tuesday night at an off-campus apartment. […]

  • CommonSense

    Goobers, one look and you can tell they are candidates for Joliet

    • Angela

      They will soon be joining their many black counterparts. I hope they’ll fit in.

  • http://west-chicago-il-satellite-tv.com/niu%e2%80%99s-butler-upgraded-to-%e2%80%98serious%e2%80%99-condition/ NIU’s Butler Upgraded To ‘Serious’ Condition - West Chicago IL DIRECTV Service

    […] He was the victim of an off-campus shooting on Wednesday. […]

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