Special Forces Sergeant Charged in Illinois Bowling Alley Murders

By Faye Higbee

A special forces sergeant has been charged in connection to a shooting at an Illinois Bowling Alley on Saturday. The shooting left 3 men dead, two young people injured, and one older man in critical condition. The shooting appears random, but authorities have yet to determine why. The incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m..

A Special Forces Sergeant with unknown motive

1st Sergeant Duke Webb, 37, was on leave from Camp Bull Simons at Eglin Air Force Base when he walked into Don Carter Lanes in Rockford, Illinois and opened fire on Saturday. He is a Special Forces assistant operations and intelligence sergeant assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Authorities have found no connection by the special forces Sergeant to the victims, and believe it to be a random shooting. Still the question remains: why? Reports stated that he has family in both Bradenton, Florida and Rockford, Illinois (Tampa Bay Times).

Webb joined the Army in 2008, and has been serving with the 7th Special Forces Group at Camp Bull Simons at Eglin AFB. It is unknown why he was in Illinois, or why he opened fire in the bowling alley. Police stated that he attempted to hide two handguns when he was arrested shortly after the incident. Fortunately, police were in the building at the time of the shooting.

I am very confident the officers that were on the scene in the building were able to stop further violence

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea

The alley was not open for bowling due to COVID restrictions, but the bar above it was. The two teens, one 16 year old female, and one 14 year old male, who were shot were there to pick up an order of food for takeout. The three deceased victims were 73, 69, and 65. Another male was shot multiple times and is in critical condition – he is 62. The female was shot in the shoulder and released from the hospital after treatment. The 14 year old boy was airlifted to a hospital in Madison – he is in stable condition.

“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.”

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea to Military Times

If the bowling alley had been in use, one could speculate that the sound of the pins falling could have triggered an episode of PTSD. However, in this case, there do not appear to be any obvious triggering factors. Three of the deceased were elderly, one critically wounded was also. But then two teenagers were also shot. Motive appears elusive.

Duke Webb has been charged with 3 counts of First Degree Murder, and 3 counts of First Degree Attempted Murder.

“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 to Military.com

Does the Army know something we don’t about this particular special forces sergeant? Bet me.


Featured photo: Winnebago County mugshot of Duke Webb

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