Marie’s Pizza – violent actions do have consequences

One person was killed and three others wounded by an off-duty Winnebago County deputy at Marie’s Pizza on Charles street in the continuing crime spree of armed business robberies, assaults on individuals and violent criminal activity in Rockford, with the now all too familiar arguments on each side already beginning to surface.

On one side, the victims of the crime are proclaiming the off duty officer a hero for his timely intervention in the crime. He was also one of the victims lest we forget and was defending his and his friend’s lives.

On the other side, are the alleged robbery suspect’s families and pastor already questioning the split decisions that had to be made by the officer dealing with four people trying to rob a business, with at least one suspect having a gun.

The questions – why was the sixteen year old suspect shot multiple times? If the officer had disarmed one of the suspects, why did he have to shoot at all, and was the owner’s gun used instead of the suspect’s gun? Which came first, the disarming or the shooting? One was shot in the buttocks – was he fleeing?

The suspects are minorities and the officer is white. Here we go again!

The Rockford Register Star reported on Tuesday that one suspect has charges filed in June of mob action, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, carry and posssession of a firearm in public and no FOID card.

The second suspect was arrested in 2006 for manufacturing and delivering heroin.

The third suspect was arrested on multiple weapons charges in 2008, including felony possession of a firearm, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, felony possession of a firearm, mob action and no FOID card.

Logic would dictate that suspects with these multiple criminal violations were not at Marie’s to order a pizza but that’s simply conjecture on my part as are the other statements being made without a complete investigation.

Cooler heads should prevail until investigations by Rockford’s crime team, the Winnebago County Sherrif’s Department and the States Attorney’s office are concluded before we all choose sides.

Unfortunately, violent actions do have consequences, as Chief Epperson warned at yesterday’s press conference announcing the charges against the suspects. In this case one suspect is dead, three suspects are wounded and the three are charged with first degree murder and various other felonies, and if convicted, could spend the rest of their lives in prison. What a waste!