Family of Suspect in Illinois Shooting Expresses Condolences

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Family of a U.S. Army special forces sergeant charged in a deadly shooting at a northern Illinois bowling alley released a statement Tuesday extending their thoughts and prayers to victims and the wider community.

Duke Webb, 37, faces three counts of murder for each person killed and three counts of first-degree attempted murder for each person injured in the Saturday night shooting at Don Carter Lanes, in Rockford, some 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Chicago.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of this tragedy,” the Webb family said in a brief written statement. “The Webb family is grieving for all those involved. We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to those impacted and the community of Rockford.”

Webb was taken into custody shortly after shooting and without officers firing a shot, Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said Sunday. He has no known ties to the victims and authorities “believe this was a completely random act,” O’Shea said.

At an initial hearing Monday, Duke Webb’s lawyer, Elizabeth Bucko, told the court her client may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Webb joined the Army in 2008 and did multiple tours in Afghanistan, the Army said. He was on leave Saturday.

Tuesday's statement, released on the Webb family's behalf by Sikeston, Missouri,-based attorney James M. McClellan, cited Webb’s military service, saying, “Duke has served his country Honorably for twelve years in special forces as a Green Beret.”

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley said Monday that Webb was in the Rockford area visiting family. He declined to comment on possible motives.

Those fatally shot were identified as Thomas Furseth, 65; Dennis Steinhoff, 73; and Jerome Woodfork, 69. The injured included Tyrone Lewis, 62, as well as a 16-year-old girl, and a 14-year-old boy.

Fundraising programs have been established to assist those injured and the families of those killed, the Rockford Register Star reported. A GoFundMe account has been set up and representatives of Rockford’s Miracle Mile business district have also announced fundraising efforts.

Webb, who was denied bond, is set to be arraigned on Feb. 16.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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