Police in Rockford, Illinois arrested and charged an Army Green Beret with murder and other charges in connection with the shooting that took place at a Rockford bowling alley on Saturday night.
At 6:55 p.m. on Saturday night, gunfire erupted at the Don Carter Lanes, a bowling alley in downtown Rockford about an hour northwest of Chicago. Three men, aged 73, 69, and 65, were killed in the shooting that also left two people seriously wounded. A 62-year-old man is in critical condition after suffering multiple gunshot wounds while a 14-year-old boy was shot in the face and is in stable condition, according to Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea. A 16-year-old girl was shot in the shoulder, treated at the scene, and released, police added.
The gunman was arrested a few minutes after the shooting.
The gunman wasn’t connected to any of the victims or to others present at the scene.
“We believe this was a completely random act, and there is no prior meeting or any kind of relationship between the suspect and any of the victims in this case,” Chief O’Shea said. It is still being investigated as to why the shooting took place.
District Attorney J. Hanley for Winnebago County has identified the shooter as Duke Webb, 37, a Special Forces Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant in the 7th Special Forces Group. He has been charged with three counts of murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder.
Webb is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group which is based at Camp Bull Simons, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. He was on leave at the time of the shooting. The Assistant Operations and Intelligence Sergeant (18F) is the second most senior NCO slot on a Special Forces A-Team (Operational Detachment Alpha). Webb has been in the Army since 2008.
“We are shocked and saddened to learn about this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and wounded,” Col. John W. Sannes, commander of 7th SFG, said in a statement.
“The alleged actions of SFC Duke Webb are abhorrent and are absolutely not representative of the Special Forces Regiment,” Major General John Brennan, commander of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), said in a released statement.
“The vast majority of men and women Green Berets live up to their storied reputation and earn their beret every day. The actions described in reports are shocking and are completely out of character with Webb’s 12 years of honorable service. The Rockford Police Department has our complete cooperation. Our heavy hearts and prayers are with the families affected.”
The bowling alley has been closed due to the coronavirus-related restrictions but a bar upstairs was open. The teens who were injured were picking up food at the carry-out section of the bowling alley. It hasn’t been reported whether the shootings took place at the bar area or the carry-out section.
Chief O’Shea said that the suspect tried to hide his weapons prior to his arrest and that he was apprehended without officers having to fire a shot. “Most of the incident was captured on surveillance video from inside the business,” O’Shea added, stating that investigators are studying the video.