State’s attorney identifies 3 victims killed in bowling alley shooting

Authorities said Duke Webb who is accused of killing three people in shooting at bowling alley in Rockford, was in the city on leave to visit family. Photo courtesy of Winnebago County Sheriff's Office

Dec. 29 (UPI) — Prosecutors in Winnebago County, Ill., have identified the three people killed during a shooting at a bowling alley over the weekend.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley identified the deceased victims in a press conference on Monday as Thomas Furseth, 65; Jerome Woodfork, 69; and Dennis Steinhoff, 73.

A 14-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and a 62-year-old man also suffered gunshot wounds during the shooting, Hanley said, adding both males are in critical condition.

Duke Webb, 37, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the three deaths and three counts of attempted first-degree murder in connection to those injured in the shooting.

Elizabeth Bucko, Webb’s lawyer, said her client pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier on Monday and Hanley told reporters during the press conference that the judge denied Webb bail.

“As such, there is no amount of money Mr. Webb can post to get out of jail,” he said.

Bucko said Webb, an active-duty special forces agent assigned to Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base, will be assessed for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Army on Monday released details about Webb’s record, stating he has been deployed to Afghanistan four times and is a decorated special forces engineer sergeant and parachute rigger.

“The alleged actions of Sgt. 1st Class Duke Webb are abhorrent and are absolutely not representative of the Special Forces Regiment,” Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan, commander of 1st Special Command (Airborne), said in the statement. “The actions described in reports are shocking and completely out of character with Webb’s 12 years of honorable service.”

Hanley told reporters that Webb was in Rockford, about 80 miles northwest of Chicago, on leave to visit family on Saturday when he allegedly went to the Don Carter Lanes bowling alley armed with two Glocks and a bag of undisclosed contents.

The state’s attorney said police were notified of the shooting at 6:55 p.m. and that officers arrested Webb without discharging their weapons and that the suspect admitted to being the gunman and took the authorities to the bag he had brought to the bowling alley where he had placed the .40-caliber and .380-caliber Glocks used in the shooting.

Hanley said witnesses told police the shooting began when Webb opened fire on a group of three teenagers sitting at a table in the bowling alley, wounding the 16-year-old girl with a through-and-through gunshot wound to the shoulder. The 14-year-old boy sitting at the table was shot in the face.

Webb then allegedly shot Furseth in the torso as he attempted to flee up the stairs to the second-floor bar where he soon after died, Hanley said.

On the second floor where there were between 20 and 25 people, Webb allegedly opened fire on those sitting at the bar, striking Steinhoff in the torso, whose body was later recovered from a nearby balcony.

Woodfork was shot in the neck and was found dead in the bowling alley’s parking lot, Hanley said, adding that a witness had seen the injured man fall from the balcony.

Hanley said the third man injured was shot in the left eye, back, neck, groin and buttocks, and was alive but in critical condition.

The entire incident was captured with surveillance cameras, he said, adding the Glocks were not military issued.

“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 Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a statement on Sunday.

Authorities have said they believe the shooting was a random act.

Don Carter Lanes said on Facebook it was to hold a candle light vigil on Tuesday night “to honor and pray for the victims and their families.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here