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 Just southwest of Chicago, a shocking incident rocked the Unincorporated Lockport Township community. An Illinois man faces charges of attempted murder and a hate crime for shooting his neighbor with the alleged threat, “There’s gonna be some dead n****rs today.” The neighbor was a white woman, but that just goes to show how deep and delusional the racists’ cognitive dissonance really is.

hand in jail

Source: sakhorn38 / Getty

This past Tuesday began like any other until it was shattered by gunfire and hatred. John P. Shadbar, 70, was arrested and charged with eight felonies, including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, after he allegedly shot 45-year-old Melissa Robertson. According to the Will County Sheriff’s Office per ABC, it’s because of her relationship with a Black partner. This is pure, unadulterated racism.

Sheriffs say this resulted from years of escalating racial tension. Robertson now lies in a hospital bed, fighting for her life with gunshot wounds as deep and dangerous as the unchecked hatred that caused them. 

According to officials, Robertson suffers from severe injuries, including a gunshot wound to her chest that exited her back and another to her hand. She remains in critical but stable condition.

Why A White Man Allegedly Committed A Racist Hate Crime Against A White Woman

Authorities believe this act of violence wasn’t random. Shadbar reportedly targeted Robertson’s family because he couldn’t seem to tolerate the sight of an interracial couple and their two Black children living next door. 

Shadbar, who appeared in court on Thursday, was denied bail after a judge deemed him a significant threat to community safety.

“His release on bond would pose a specific, real, and present threat to the safety of any person or persons or the community,” stated court documents obtained by ABC News.

How A Neighborly Dispute Nearly Turned Deadly And Ended With Shadbar’s Police Standoff

According to law enforcement per NBC Chicago, the situation escalated on the day of the shooting when Robertson used an air horn in response to Shadbar revving his motorcycle engine. 

Shadbar allegedly responded by threatening, “There’s gonna be dead n****rs today,” before firing at Robertson.

Witness Emily Tashaski, a friend of Robertson’s, reported hearing what she initially thought were blank rounds, only to see Robertson fall to the ground wounded. Tashaski and Robertson’s children were present during the incident, adding a layer of trauma to the attack.

Authorities noted that Shadbar made several incriminating statements while speaking to a crisis negotiator before he surrendered. He had barricaded himself in his residence briefly before his arrest.

It was far from the first time Shadbar made comments like that. According to Robertson’s aunt, Jeanne Beyer, he loved to spew Jim Crow-era threats to kill with impunity because of “freedom of speech.”

“Dead n-words, n-word this, n-word lover. Called me the n-word straight to my face. My mom made him apologize, a few days later he comes out holding a gun in his underwear,” she said.

Shadbar’s Years Of Allegedly Getting Away With Racist Terror & Intimidation

Shadbar reportedly terrorized Robertson and her children for years. His hatred escalated from verbal assaults and racial slurs. According to court records obtained by NBC, this intimidation includes firing blank gun rounds and even throwing fireworks.

Shadbar has a history of harassing Robertson and her family. He allegedly frequently used racial slurs, fired blank gun rounds, and even threw an M-80-type firework over Robertson’s fence. Heavily armed and unstable, with the complexion for protection from consequences until now.

Will County Sheriff Mike Kelley praised the response of local law enforcement. Cops immediately assisted Robertson and ensured Shadbar’s arrest without further incident. Responding to 911 calls, local law enforcement was quick to the scene. A crisis negotiator managed to coax Shadbar to surrender. 

“This is a prime example of how teamwork and training are important aspects of this job,” Kelley said in a statement. 

Police Inaction Allowed A Convicted Felon To Illegally Own Firearms And Allegedly Commit Multiple Hate Crimes To Protect His “Free Speech”

Like most instances of white supremacist terror, it’s also a prime example of complicit law enforcement. NBC Chicago reports that Shadbar illegally owned the arsenal of weapons and ammunition recovered from his home. He was banned from owning firearms due to a felony conviction in the 1970s.

However, that didn’t stop Shadbar from regularly threatening his innocent neighbors with guns. He reportedly gained the nickname “Pistol Pete” for his antics, which the Will County Sheriff’s Department never stopped. Robertson’s family said she repeatedly called the cops on the pistol-toting terrorist, but law enforcement enabled him to continue. BOSSIP has reported countless police arrests, assaults, and executions of Black people for far less.

“There are a lot of things that I feel, and we all feel should have been done. Why they were not, I don’t know the details. Why did he have no consequences? It was not a one-time thing. He has been doing this for years,” Beyer explained about her neice to NBC.

Detectives continue to investigate and are confident charges will continue to stack up against Shadbar. The ongoing investigation includes the recovery of video evidence and further search warrants.

This is an ongoing investigation that leaves the Robertson family and the community to grapple with the reality of the hatred that lives next door. 

As the community of Lockport Township looks to heal, the tragedy proves that even white lives don’t matter as much to racists as White Supremacy. If they did, a mother of two would be enjoying Mother’s Day at home instead of in a coma.

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