05/18/2024

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John P. Shadbar, left, faces charges in the shooting of Melissa Robertson, center, in Illinois. (Crime scene screenshot from WFLD/YouTube; victim's photo from GoFundMe; Suspect's mug shot from Will County Sheriff's Office)

‘Shoot his gun off into the air’: Neighbor critically wounded after man allegedly fires dozens of rounds from assault-style rifle outside his home

John P. Shadbar, left, faces charges in the shooting of Melissa Robertson, center inset, in Illinois. (Crime scene screenshot, right, from WFLD/YouTube; victim’s photo from GoFundMe; Suspect’s mug shot from Will County Sheriff’s Office)

An Illinois man critically wounded his neighbor while firing dozens of rounds from an assault-style rifle outside a home with a young child inside in an apparent racially motivated attack, authorities said.

John P. Shadbar, 70, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in the shooting of a 45-year-old woman, deputies said in a news release.

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    The violence happened on Tuesday. Deputies with the Will County Sheriff’s Office responded at 5:37 p.m. to 144th Place and Rickerman Road in unincorporated Lockport Township for a shots fired complaint, authorities said. The area is about 35 miles southwest of Chicago.

    While deputies were responding, they were told that the victim had been shot by her neighbor, authorities said. Witnesses told 911 dispatchers that Shadbar shot the victim, firing dozens of rounds of ammunition with an assault-style rifle at her from different locations outside, authorities said. The shooting prompted a shelter-in-place alert for area residents, officials said.

    Once there, deputies secured the area and began tending to the victim before she was taken to a hospital, where she was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to her chest and wounds to her hand.

    After allegedly shooting her, authorities said Shadbar barricaded himself in his home and was talked out by a crisis negotiator who convinced him to surrender peacefully. He was booked into the Will County Adult Detention Facility without bail, online records show.

    Family members identified the victim as Melissa Robertson. The victim’s niece Jeanne Beyer told Chicago ABC affiliate WLS that her 8-year-old son was home when the shooting happened.

    “Random during the day or night, he would come out and shoot his gun off into the air, into the woods across the street,” Beyer said. “Yell racist slurs. God forbid the 8-year-old is out in the backyard or front yard playing.”

    Beyer told Fox Chicago affiliate WFLD that Shadbar has been “terrorizing her in the neighborhood for years … revving his motorcycle engine at all hours as loud as it can possibly go, blasting music, yelling, getting drunk and disorderly, shooting his gun into the air.”

    “When an 8-year-old is terrified to play in his backyard, it’s pretty bad,” she told the station.

    Robertson’s niece Natalie Beyer set up an online fundraiser for help with medical bills. She said Robertson, a single mother, suffered damage to her abdomen and hand and was on a ventilator. The shot to her stomach damaged her colon and spleen and shattered several ribs, which surgeons removed, she said. Robertson will need reconstructive hand surgery.

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    “The bullet tore off quite a bit of her thumb and index finger,” the niece wrote. “Ordinarily, they would amputate, but because the thumb is so important, the doctors will try to save it.”

    “We do not know what lies ahead, but we do know that, at the least, she will need months of rehabilitation and care,” she also wrote. “During that time, we want her to be able to focus on her recovery and family … not what’s bound to be staggering medical and household bills. And as for her kids, we want to make sure that they have everything they need, because that’s what she’ll worry about most.”

    The post ‘Shoot his gun off into the air’: Neighbor critically wounded after man allegedly fires dozens of rounds from assault-style rifle outside his home first appeared on Law & Crime.