CHICAGO (CBS) — A man has been charged in connection with a deadly shooting that left three dead and three wounded at a Rockford bowling alley Saturday night, police say.
Duke Webb, a 37-year-old Florida resident and active military member, is facing three counts of first degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. He is a Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), according to a statement from the Army. He is being held in the Winnebago County Jail without bond, police announced in a Sunday morning press conference.
The shooting happened shortly before 7 p.m. at Don Carter Lanes in the 4000 block of East State Street on the east side of Rockford.
Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said the shooting is believed to be a random act, saying the shooter shot people at random both inside and outside of the bowling alley. A 73-year-old man, a 65-year old man and a 69-year-old man were all killed in the shooting. A 14-year-old boy was shot in the face and airlifted to a hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the shoulder, treated at a local hospital and later released. A 62-year-old man was also shot multiple times and underwent surgery overnight and was in critical condition Sunday morning.
O’Shea said when officers arrived on scene they heard shots within the building. Officers went in and apprehended the suspect without any officers firing their weapons. He said the suspect attempted to obscure his ID and hide his weapons before being taken into custody.
Most of the incident was captured on surveillance video from inside the bowling alley, O’Shea said.
Shortly after the shooting, the bowling alley posted on its Facebook page, writing simply, “Pray Please.”
O’Shea was asked why there were people at the bowling alley at all since COVID-19 mitigation procedures do not allow places like bowling alleys to be open. He said the bowling alley and separate bar downstairs were closed, but a bar upstairs was within compliance of mitigation efforts. The upstairs bar has an outdoor balcony and double garage doors, he said.
The two teens were picking up food for carry-out, according to O’Shea.
Online records list Webb’s address at an Air Force base in the Florida Panhandle. His family, who have ties to Illinois and Missouri, told CBS 2 they have no comment.
Friends and family on social media identified one victim of the shooting as a bowling legend. Jerome Woodfork, 69, will be remembered for his skills, his sense of humor and mentoring youth.
“He was a Hall of Famer in Rockford,” said Jason Heiden, a friend of Woodford. “I don’t know how many 300 games that dude has. I’ll just never forget that guy’s smile.”
CBS 2 found no prior criminal record for Webb. He is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Monday.
This shooting makes 2020 the deadliest year Rockford has seen in decades.