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Man in custody in town of Beloit shooting

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:24:25 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 21 2013 12:35:38 AM CST
Antwann Griffin
TOWN OF BELOIT, Wis. -

Town of Beloit police said a suspect in a parking lot shooting in which multiple men fired shots is in custody.

Town of Beloit police said they heard gunshots at about 2 a.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the Silver Slipper Saloon at 1901 S. Wisconsin Ave.

Officers saw 20 to 30 unidentified people scattering on foot and in vehicles from the parking lot, according to a town of Beloit Police Department news release.

Police said a silver Chevrolet Impala was involved in the incident, and a car matching that description was stopped by the South Beloit Police Department shortly after the shooting.

Investigators believe one occupant of the Impala, Antwann Griffin, 25, of Rockford, Ill., was one of the shooters, according to the news release.

Griffin is being held at the Winnebago County Jail awaiting extradition proceedings.

The other occupants of the car, John Griffin, 22, and Leanthony Lilly, 26, both also of Rockford, were arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct, respectively, police said. They were released with court dates.

Town of Beloit police said John Griffin suffered a grazing gunshot wound to his head. His injury was reported to be superficial, and he was treated and cleared by paramedics at the scene of his arrest. Police said he refused any further medical attention.

Police said two people with gunshot wounds to their legs showed up at the Beloit Memorial Hospital Emergency Room shortly after the shooting.

Neither had life-threatening injuries but one was taken into surgery. Their names are being withheld at this time pending further investigation and for their safety, police said.

Police said initial findings show the incident began with threats, angry looks and hostile gestures in the bar, and when the crowd exited the bar and went to the parking lot at closing time, the incident escalated to violence.

Several other men are believed to have fired guns during the incident, according to the release.

Amanda Buetow, a homeowner who has lived on the block where the shooting happened for about a year, said she heard at least 10 gunshots early Sunday morning.

"Actually, there were probably 40 people that walked out to the parking lot. Shots were fired, everybody got down to the ground. And the cop was right there, so they did it knowing the cop was right there," Buetow said.

On Friday night, shots were also fired at a house on the block. Buetow said the recent shooting incidents make her want to move.

"(It's) pretty traumatizing for two nights in a row," Buetow said.

Buetow said she doesn't know of any previous violent incidents at the bar.

"Never; I mean, they're a bar so I expect them to be loud but not anything like this," Buetow said.

The Silver Slipper Saloon said in a statement that at 1:10 a.m. Sunday a town of Beloit police officer was notified by management that a very large amount of customers began flooding the bar's entrance within matter of minutes.

At 1:55 a.m., with police patrolling the parking lot, another officer positioned just up the street, and no issues yet taking place in the bar, managers at the bar made the decision that it would be a safe time to close, the Silver Slipper Saloon said in a statement.

According to the bar's statement, a very quick argument began in the parking lot with perspective patrons that turned into an incident where shots were fired, even with police at the scene.

In a statement, the Silver Slipper Saloon said the company owner, management and staff are very upset about the incident, which they believe is an isolated incident.

"Our business has and always will continue to take steps to protect the safety of our customers. The safety of our customers, staff and community is number one. We will now be taking additional serious actions from this incident to prevent it from reoccurring, regardless of the changes that will be done to conduct a clean and safer business. Once again, we are very sorry to the innocent victims and community," the Silver Slipper Saloon said in the statement.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact the town of Beloit Police Department at 608-757-2244.

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