5 guns found inside hate crime suspect's wall after he allegedly shot Lockport Township neighbor

Wife of Lockport Township man accused in hate crime shooting de-deputized during investigation

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team and Rob Elgas WLS logo
Saturday, May 11, 2024
5 guns found inside hate crime shooting suspect's wall: police
John Shadbar's corrections officer wife has been de-deputized. The Lockport Township man faces a hate crime charge for allegedly shooting a neighbor.

LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP, Ill. (WLS) -- The wife of a man accused in a hate crime shooting in the south suburbs is now under investigation too.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office said she is a correctional sergeant at the Cook County Jail. She has been de-deputized while authorities look into the case.

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Investigators say she was home when her husband John Shadbar of Lockport Township allegedly shot his neighbor Melissa Robertson on Tuesday evening.

John Shadbar appeared in court Thursday on multiple charges, including attempted murder and hate crime.

Shadbar is facing nine felony charges. In court, prosecutors said there is cell phone video from witnesses showing him shooting his neighbor. A judge ordered him held in custody pending trial.

"She's literally still fighting for her life," Jeanne Beyer, the victim's aunt, said. "She's nowhere near out of the woods."

Beyer said her niece, 45-year-old Melissa Robertson, is still in critical, but stable condition after authorities say Robertson was shot multiple times by her Lockport neighbor, 70-year-old Shadbar.

"We are happy that he is going to be put away until trial," Beyer said. "And it sounds like there is quite enough evidence that he will be convicted."

Prosecutors described what had been a years-long history of animosity between the neighbors, with Shadbar frequently using racial slurs toward Robertson's two children, who are Black. That includes on May 7, the day of the shooting.

"We've called the cops. He's thrown fireworks and he's shot blanks. Nothing was done. And it's very unfortunate," said Mikeal Johnson, Robertsons' stepson.

Beyer said one of Robertson's children, an eight-year-old boy, was home at the time of the shooting.

"We were all very shocked when this happened, but honestly sadly we are not surprised," Beyer said. "This has been nine years and coming."

After the shooting, prosecutors said the 45-year-old managed to drag herself from her yard into her kitchen. A friend who had been staying with her called 911.

The Will County Sheriff's Office conducted search warrant at Shadbar's home, where five weapons were found inside a wall and seized. They include two AK-47 style rifles, a shotgun and two handguns. One of the AK-47 rifles is believed to be the weapon used in the shooting.

Shadbar had previously been denied a FOID card because of a felony conviction for battery that dates back to the 1970s.

Robertson's family's frustration was evident outside court Thursday.

"Nothing was ever done. And I don't care if he was shooting blanks. If he's in his front yard waving a gun and doesn't have a FOID card. I mean, I have a FOID card. I can't go stand in my front yard and wave my gun around without some consequences," Beyer said.

"I was on my way home from work. My little brother was home. And I just wish I could have been there. I mean not much I could have done, but I wish I could have been there for my family when they needed me the most," said Johnson.

Beyer said Shadbar terrorized her niece's neighborhood.

"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 eight-year-old is out in the backyard or front yard playing."

Shadbar is due back in court on May 23. He can appeal his detention at that hearing.