Posted: 4/15/2001 5:42:46 PM EDT
This happened in the city I live in:
Shots fly at JB's Pub
Gunman kills 2, hurts 20 in tavern
By Janelle Walker
ELGIN — What started as Good Friday became black Saturday as a lone gunman, invoking the movie Natural Born Killers, sprayed a popular tavern with gunfire, killing two and wounding more than a dozen.
When it was over, more than 20 people were wounded by gunfire or shattered glass, or were trampled in the frenzy to escape JB's Pub, 297 S. McLean Blvd. Officers at the Elgin Police Department described the scene as a "battle zone."
"In my 22 years, I have seen nothing like this," said Elgin police Lt. Mike Turner, public information officer for the department.
Dead are Jeffery Weides, 38, of 1550 Meyer, Elgin, a longtime bartender at JB's, and Richard Bartlett, 48, of 1276 Christopher Court, Elgin. An unidentified woman seriously injured by gunfire was taken to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood by medical helicopter. She was still in surgery Saturday afternoon, but was listed in fair condition by the evening.
Sources said the man in custody is Luther "Luke" Casteel, 42, of 708 Kenneth Circle, Elgin, an ex-convict who served 13 years in prison for armed robbery.
He was charged Saturday night with four counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, four counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, and single counts of aggravated battery, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and having no firearm owners identification card.
Casteel was slightly injured in the melee and was treated at Delnor-Community Hospital in Geneva before being released into police custody.
Words exchanged at bar
According to police and witnesses at the scene, Casteel and his girlfriend had been at the bar earlier Friday. Casteel was reportedly bothering several female patrons, and unconfirmed reports indicated there was also a dispute over his bar tab. He was either asked to leave or left voluntarily, but police said some words were apparently exchanged as he left the tavern.
Casteel's girlfriend told The Courier News he was intoxicated and she followed him to his east-side home before he sent her away. He then apparently shaved his head, put on either face paint or a gas mask and Army camouflage fatigues, and returned to the tavern carrying an estimated 200 rounds of ammunition, two long guns and two handguns, police said.
Kedric Carrington was in the upstairs part of the two-level bar when the gunman entered.
"He came in the door, shot the first person he saw," Carrington said. "I rushed under the table. People rushed up the stairs. (It seemed like) a semi(automatic). Pow, pow, pow."
Carrington said he thought he heard at least 40 shots.
Another witness said: "He was yelling, 'This is Armageddon, Natural Born Killers.' He shot this lady. I was by the window when I started hearing shots."
Several seek cover in cooler
One man crowded into the bar's cooler with 10 or so others. "It was one shooter, but he did a lot of damage himself," he said. "We heard shots, so we went in the cooler, eight or 10 of us. I didn't see his face. It was like he was having a flashback, from Vietnam."
"He was telling whoever, 'Get up, it's time for Armageddon,' " said one witness.
But at one point, the gunman either ran out of ammunition or his weapon jammed, and several people were able to subdue him. Ano
The result will be some ignorant law issued by the idiots in Springfield that results in more lawabiding citizens being disarmed.
Man, I use to hand out in Elgin once a while. CCW would not of helped out, Bars are off limits.
Gee a felon with a gun, in a FOID state, does he know that he broke the law?