Lockport Township woman speaks out after being shot by neighbor: 'His hatred is not going to win'

Thursday, May 30, 2024
Woman speaks out after being shot by neighbor in alleged hate crime
Lockport Township woman Melissa Robertson is speaking out after being shot by her neighbor John Shadbar in an alleged hate crime earlier this month.

LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP, Ill. (WLS) -- The Will County man accused of shooting his neighbor in what prosecutors say was a racially motivated attack remains in custody Thursday.

ABC7 heard from the victim in the shooting. Melissa Robertson is now out of the hospital and is speaking out for the first time about what she says took place at her own home.

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Her back yard is filled with bullet holes and Robertson is still discovering some of them for the first time.

He just couldn't see past the color of the skin of my family... His hatred is not going to win
Melissa Robertson, shooting victim

She is back home now after three weeks in the hospital.

She was shot, allegedly by her neighbor 70-year-old John Shadbar. he has been charged with nine felonies, including hate crime and attempted murder.

SEE MORE | Lockport Township man accused of shooting neighbor charged with hate crime, ordered held in custody

"He just couldn't see past the color of the skin of my family," Robertson said.

Robertson, who has two black children, has lived next door to Shadbar for more than a decade. While not friendly, she says they have been civil, until the shooting.

She always encouraged her kids to live by the motto, "Kill them with kindness." Now she has a new motto.

"His hatred is not going to win," Robertson said. "We are so much stronger than his hate."

Robertson was hit by two bullets, one in the abdomen shattering ribs and collapsing a lung. The other hit her hand.

"It went through here, totally shot out my hand," Robertson said.

She said the prognosis was so bad doctors talked to her family about removing her from the ventilator several times. Now that she's back home, she plans to try to turn her experience into something positive for others.

"We're all one unity of humans trying to live together. Why not be happy?" Robertson said.

Robertson says she's most grateful her son did not witness the shooting. In the meantime she still has a long road ahead and several more surgeries on her hand before she is able to hopefully use it again one day.

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