Isaiah Box was in the wrong place at the right time.
The 25-year-old lives in Rockford, Ill., Sharing a house with his parents about half a mile from Don Carter Lanes, where he was a regular at the upstairs tavern, Shooter’s Bar and Grill. He was there as usual last Saturday, but left earlier than usual.
This, he now realizes, may have saved his life.
“I don’t know what made me leave – especially on a Saturday I usually stay up there to watch football,” Box told The Daily Beast. “I left around 4:45 pm, 5 pm, and I went home.
About two hours later, police said, active-duty US Army Green Beret Duke Webb entered the Don Carter Lanes and opened fire, killing three people and injuring three others.
A 16-year-old girl sitting at a table on the first floor was shot in the shoulder, followed by a 14-year-old boy who was shot in the face, police said. The two were there to collect take out food. Both survived, but police say Webb then went to the second-floor bar, where he shot and killed Dennis Steinhoff, 73; Thomas Furseth, 65; and Jerome Woodfork, 69.
An as yet unidentified fourth man, 62, has been shot and killed several times and remains in critical condition.
On Monday, an Illinois judge ordered Webb’s detention without bail, pending a psychological assessment, his lawyer said at an impromptu press conference. Attempts to reach his lawyer for this story commentary have failed, and Webb has yet to plead.
Described in local reports as “an iconic home for family fun in Rockford,” Don Carter’s Lanes have been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, as has a downstairs bar. But Shooter, which has an outdoor area with double garage doors, was operating under Department of Health regulations, according to Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea.
Box’s mother, Bridget, told the Daily Beast that her son has been at Shooter’s house all day. He was about to return there around 7 a.m. to meet some friends when his brother – who was also at Shooter that day – called from his girlfriend’s house to tell him there had been a shooting. . Incredulous, Box rushed over to see what was going on.
“I was sitting at the same table as one of the guys who got shot and died,” Box said. “Another guy, who is now in critical condition, we were also sitting there chatting, having a good time, like we do on a daily basis. It’s like our home away from home.
Any motive is still unknown, but police said Webb did not know any of his victims personally and the shooting appears to have been a random act. CBS Chicago has said Webb has family members with ties to Illinois, but those relatives have reportedly declined to give further details.
Webb, 37, resides in Shalimar, Florida. He has been awarded the Medal for Military Good Conduct, the World War on Terrorism Medal and the Combat Action Badge, as well as two Bronze Stars, according to service reports cited by The Associated Press. . Webb, who joined the military in 2008 and deployed to Afghanistan four times, is charged with three counts of first degree murder and three counts of attempted first degree murder.
At Monday’s hearing, his lawyer, Elizabeth Bucko, suggested that Webb may be suffering from PTSD and has memory loss issues.
Jamey Funk, the general manager of Shooter, was absent on Saturday. But, he said, his son and daughter were both working the night of the murders. The two came out alive, as did their colleagues.
However, Funk is now concerned with the psychological well-being of all of his staff. He says he works to provide them with advice and is partnering with a local bank to collect donations for the families of the victims.
If the first floor had been open and filled with people, things could have been “a lot worse,” Funk noted.
“You see it on the news and you never think [experience] something like that, ”Funk told The Daily Beast. “There is no training as a manager on how to overcome this. You don’t know what to do, all you can do is cry when you are alone and be strong when you are with your staff … All we can do is what we can do, and be there for the families of the victims and our staff. And that’s what we’re trying to do.
A statement posted on Don Carter Lanes’ website expressed shock and thanked police, who would have been at the scene in less than a minute, for responding so quickly. A vigil for the victims of the shooting is scheduled in front of the Don Carter Lanes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Webb is due to return to court on February 16.
#Rockford #Illinois #Don #Carter #Lanes #shooting #Green #Beret #Duke #Webb #killed