Byron Police investigate near fatal shooting - – Rockford’s News Leader

Byron Police investigate near fatal shooting

Emory Weems was shot inside his home at 228 W. Merchant St. Emory Weems was shot inside his home at 228 W. Merchant St.
This is the first shooting in Byron in more than a decade. This is the first shooting in Byron in more than a decade.

By Marissa Alter

BYRON (WREX) - Byron Police need the public's help to solve a crime they rarely investigate, a near-fatal shooting.  Emory Weems, 55, is in critical condition at the hospital after he was shot at his home Thursday afternoon.  Police do have a suspect; he's a white man 30-40 years old, six feet tall, clean shaven with brown hair.  The suspect was last seen wearing a dark colored jacket with colored trim and a black baseball hat.  Police say he ran from the crime scene, which is right by the Byron Library, but may have later left the area in a tan, medium-sized, four-door car. 

Bridget Goley has lived in tiny Byron, Illinois for 27 years. "There was never a shooting that I can remember." That is, until Thursday. Police found 55-year-old Emory Weems shot at his home on West Merchant Street around 3 pm.  It was a new type of crime scene, even for Byron Police Chief Todd Murray. "I've been chief for 10 years, and we haven't had a shooting here."

His department got help from Ogle County Sheriff's Police and Illinois State Police.  Both have experience with shooting investigations.  "We're following their lead, and they're assisting us and we're assisting them."

Police say there was no sign of a break-in and nothing was stolen.  Weems lives with his two adult children who aren't considered suspects. 

Byron has just 3,900 residents. Murray wants to clear up rumors about the shooting and get the facts out to the community, who might help them make an arrest.  "We don't feel that there's any need to take any extraordinary measures in the community. But go about your normal business with an air of caution."

If you know anything, call Byron Police at 815-979-4462.  You can also make an anonymous tip with Ogle Lee Crime Stoppers at 888-228-4488.  Investigators also want to hear from anyone who was at the Byron Library between 2 pm and 4 pm yesterday since that's near the crime scene.

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