Suspect in Machesney Park Shooting Had a Long Documented History of Abuse


Michael Mernack had a documented history of abuse.

There are pages upon pages of court documents saying as much, because so many people had orders of protection issued against him.

Four restraining orders, all filed within the last year.

Angry, suicidal, and violent….Those are just some of the words used to describe Michael Mernack in the orders of protection.

In one of them, Rebecca Finkenhofer’s father, Timothy, said Mernack threatened him with a knife and came within two inches of his neck…all because he wanted to meet him.

That allegedly happened in October.

After that, Finkenhofer requested an emergency order of protection for himself and his daughter.

A judge granted it.

Becky Winstead, the Director for Remedies Renewing Lives, a domestic violence shelter in Rockford, says protection orders work, but not all the time.

“There are people that violate orders of protection against them,” said Winstead. “There are many who do take it seriously and follow it and there are some who don’t.”

Mernack is no stranger to the law.

If he can recover from his injuries, he will not only face charges in the teen’s  murder, but also domestic battery and aggravated assault charges in a separate case that happened on November 23rd.

Just a day earlier, Rebecca’s mother requested an emergency order of protection.

She claimed Mernack got upset, saying quote: “If you didn’t have kids, I would kill you.”

She said Mernack then backhanded her.

Hours before the shootings in Machesney Park, Mernack wrote a cryptic warning on Facebook .

We had to blur a couple of the words out, but it says anyone on his list needs to watch out.

More than a hundred people commented on that post, expressing outrage at Mernack’s alleged actions.

Many of them we couldn’t air because of profanity.

For now, Mernack is only charged with aggravated assault.

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