WILLOWBROOK, Ill. – It has now been a month since gunfire abruptly ended a Juneteenth rally in unincorporated Willowbrook.
Twenty-three people were killed and one person killed.
No one has been charged and the police’s lack of information since then is disturbing to those who were there.
Ashley Miller was there that night. Her girlfriend Reggie Meadows was killed.
“It started with three loud gunshots. Then there were numerous blows. You just felt them hurtling past you,” she said. “We have lost a very important person in our lives and the least we need to know is an update. I have no answers to tell her beautiful children. They took someone who was so peaceful and loved by so many.
Darren Meadows is the brother of Reggie Meadows.
“I just want to know what is the reason why my brother was killed? There is no information. Nothing was shown to me or the mother of his children,” he said.
DuPage County Sheriff Jim Mendrick has never spoken publicly about the mass shooting, choosing instead to issue occasional news release updates stating that “over 100 investigators” were on the case and conducted “several hundred interviews with victims, witnesses and potential suspects”.
Eugene Roy has retired as Chief of Detectives in Chicago. He said the sheer amount of evidence — from shell casings to social media posts — can take some time to process.
“You want to get to witnesses before they have selective amnesia, before they’re intimidated, before they walk away and while their memories are fresh,” he said. “You have to strike in a timely manner.”
DuPage’s deputies were confirmed to have been monitoring the scene due to the size of the crowd, but the sheriff’s office quickly said the officers left to take another call. Sheriff’s Office denied open records request for basic and regularly released information, including shipping logs, 911 calls, initial police reports from responding officers, as well as body and dash cam videos . They claim it would jeopardize the investigation.
“If there’s no information forthcoming, people will rely on rumors and speculation and gossip – and yes, they’ll say ‘the police don’t care, the police are incompetent,'” Roy said.
“Does the lack of transparency question how much the sheriff’s office knew while this event was unfolding and failed to act?” said attorney Robert Fakhouri.
“I haven’t spoken to the police, but have tried to reach out several times to find out what’s going on with this investigation,” Ashley Miller said.
Asked to comment on these concerns, the state of the investigation and whether or not any of those killed remain in the hospital once again on Monday, the sheriff’s spokesperson simply said, “We have no further information to share.”
In fact, the last update provided by the police was three weeks ago.
WGN Investigates is appealing the sheriff’s unusual refusal to release any documents from that night with the Illinois Attorney General.