Nearby Neighbor Says Howard Ave Murder Could've Been Avoided

A man is dead and others are seriously hurt when shots are fired inside a home

ROCKFORD - A party in west Rockford gets out of hand -- and ends in murder. One man is dead and four others are seriously hurt. It happened at a home in the 400 block of Howard Avenue at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday.

A nearby neighbor says that man might still be alive if police had responded when she first called 911 -- two hours before the shooting.

"Maybe one squad car could've diffused the party," said Stephanie Denard." [They could've] sent everyone on their way home safely. For whatever reason, I don't know, that didn't happen."

Denard called police at around 3 a.m. to report the constant traffic and noise of people coming and going. But, when no one came, she dozed off. "I was abruptly woken up by gunfire, it was quick and fast. Then I heard a lot of people scurrying about, that had me scurrying about inside the house as well."

Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz says Rockford Police asked for his assistance early Sunday morning. After investigating the crime scene, the Coroner's office removed the body from inside the home.

"There was a gathering here over night," said Hintz. "Several people were injured. One was deceased, he was a 31 year-old male from Rockford."

Denard says fewer people are shocked by this type of violence -- because of how often it happens in Rockford. But for her, the incident hits close to home.

"That's somebody's kid, the first I thought about was the mother," added Denard. "It's going to be her day of great sadness and hurt, I suppose. I'm a mother with a son that's 21 and just brought it all home."

The coroner says the name of the man killed will be released Monday. His autopsy will follow on Tuesday.

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