Soldier charged in Rockford capturing might have PTSD, lawyer says

Soldier charged in Rockford shooting may have PTSD, lawyer says


Duke Webb, 37, has faced three murders and three first-degree attempted murders for injuring three others in the shooting at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford on Saturday night.

According to the military service, Webb had four missions in Afghanistan, the last of which ended once in July.

His attorney Elizabeth Bucko told the hearing in a Winnebago County courtroom that Webb appeared to have memory loss problems. She added that he would undergo a mental health exam, the Rockford Register Star reported.

The judge denied the bond for Webb, which means he will remain imprisoned. His indictment was scheduled for February 16.

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

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Winnebago County Attorney J. Hanley said Webb was in the Rockford area visiting the family. However, Hanley declined to comment on possible motives for the shooting.

Bucko, the defense attorney, told The Associated Press later Monday that Webb had no criminal record in Illinois or anywhere else. This was confirmed by a report from the court to the court. She added that Webb “has been serving successfully for 12 years”.

Webb joined the Army in 2008 and was on vacation Saturday, the Army said.

A criminal complaint published Monday said that shortly after the officers arrived, Webb admitted to the shootings and even showed the officers where he had placed two guns he had brought with him – a .40 caliber and a .389 caliber.

Hanley added Monday that the firearms did not appear to be on military display.

The complaint describes horrific scenes when the shooter opened fire just before 7 p.m. on Saturday and first approached a group of teenagers on the first floor of the two-story building.

A 14-year-old girl was shot in the shoulder and a 14-year-old boy was hit in the face. Both survived. 65-year-old Thomas Furseth was on the first floor running to the stairs to the bar on the second floor when the gunman reportedly fatally shot him in the upper body. He managed to get to the second floor before collapsing.

The shooter then went up the stairs himself and opened fire in a bar area that could seat up to 25 people. Dennis Steinhoff, 73, was fatally shot in the upper body. Jerome Woodfork, 69, was also fatally shot, and a witness later described seeing Woodfork fall from a balcony on the second floor. His body was found under the balcony in a parking lot.

Tyrone Lewis, 62, survived but was listed in critical condition. He was shot in the bar area in the thighs, back, neck, groin and buttocks.

According to the army, Webb’s first deployment to Afghanistan was from August to December 2009. His other deployments were from October 2013 to April 2014, October 2014 to April 2015, and January to July of this year.

Webb has been awarded the Bronze Star twice. Among the other awards he put together were the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, and the Combat Action Badge.

The Army has said Webb is a special forces assistant and an intelligence sergeant assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. O’Shea didn’t explain why he was in Illinois.

The 14-year-old boy who was shot in the face was flown to a hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, in stable condition, and a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the shoulder was treated at a hospital and released.

Maj. Gen. John Brennan, commander of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne), said in a statement on Sunday evening that Webb’s alleged actions were “shocking” and “totally atypical”, given that Webb had provided 12 years of honorable service.

Rockford is a city of about 170,000 people, about 130 kilometers northwest of Chicago.

The bowling alley was closed when the shooting took place, under restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, O’Shea said. But there was a bar open upstairs. The boss said the upstairs venue has double doors that open to the outside to ensure the bar complies with Illinois COVID-19 guidelines.

Most of the people in Don Carter Lanes have fled or are in hiding, O’Shea said. The wounded teenagers collected food in the bowling alley carry area, he said.