ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Dec. 26, 2020 is a day that many Rockfordians will never forget.
Six people were shot inside on Don Carter Lanes, 4007 E State St. Three people died, and the bowling alley and community is still healing a year later.
Jamey Funk, Don Carter’s bar manager, said that it is still a painful memory.
“It’s just one of these things that you can’t prepare for,” Funk said.
Funk remembers the mass shooting like it was yesterday.
“For it to happen to you, more or less in your community, it’s scary,” Funk said. “There’s nothing you can prepare yourself for that kind of thing, and we’ve taken extra steps.”
Six people were shot, and three were killed that night. Funk knew one of the victims well.
“I started 23 years ago and met Jerome, so he’s been part of my life for years, his family,” Funk said. “He [did] a lot for the kids, the bowling community.”
Funk said that not every victim was left with a physical scar.
“Our hearts go out to the people that had to witness that because they’re victims too. The ones that weren’t shot, they’re injured because they had to see that, that’s just one thing that we don’t want to forget about either,” Funk said. “The staff that was on that night, I can’t say enough.”
Two of those staff members were Funk’s family, and he said that the resilience they have showed this year amazed him.
“Two of the people that were up there, after they went through that and they went out and they plowed driveways and they gave all their money to the victims…sorry, but that says a lot for them…people that were up here they’re victims too, they can’t unsee these things, and there’s a lot of mental that went into that,” Funk said.
However, Funk said that it still hurts a year later.
“It’s tough and the one year anniversary has not left our minds, but at the same time, we want people to understand we’re open, we’ve got a smile on our face, we’re going to push through it…keep coming here, enjoy the great game of bowling,” Funk said. “We talk about it, it still hurts, but we get through it and we’re here for the families and we’re here for all the people that have been through this. We try to help them the best we can.”
Police arrested 38-year-old Duke Webb that night, who faces six murder charges. Webb’s next court date is scheduled for February 4.