TOWN OF PARIS — One year ago Monday, three Illinois men were killed during a busy family event on a Sunday night at the Great Lakes Dragaway, 18411 First St. (Highway KR), just south of Union Grove.
While the investigation is ongoing, no one has been arrested in connection to the triple homicide and there have not been any new findings in the case, according to Sgt. Mark Malecki, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department’s public information officer.
The three men killed — David L. Watson, 30, of Oswego, Ill.; Khalid R. Howard, 30, of Aurora, Ill.; and Derek K. Edwards, 26, of North Aurora, Ill. — were shot at point-blank range around 7 p.m. Aug. 13, 2017, near a vendor’s booth during the annual Larry’s Funfest event. An estimated 15,000 people were present for the event.
Larry’s Funfest 2018 is scheduled for today. There is no mention of any security increases or policy changes for the event on the Great Lakes Dragaway website or Facebook page. The event’s official Facebook page also has not addressed it.
A Dragaway employee declined to speak with The Journal Times for this story “because there’s no way to look good.” He also declined to make anyone else at the strip available for comment.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said the day after the murders at a news conference that the shooting was likely gang-related, as all three victims were reportedly affiliated with gangs. When asked during the conference if he felt he was disparaging the memory of the victims by focusing on their gang ties, Beth told reporters, “I have no issue with that.”
One of Watson’s longtime friends, Simeon Handy, told The Journal Times in an Aug. 14, 2017, article that he took issue with Beth’s comments about the victims’ reported gang affiliations.
“(Watson) was a devoted father,” Handy said. “His parents were pastors. He grew up in a church. He was a co-owner of a landscaping business.”
About two weeks after the shooting, the FBI began offering a $25,000 reward for information on the shooting leading to the identification and arrest of the shooter.
The shooter was reported to be a black man in his mid-20s. The suspect fled on foot through a crowd and may have left the Dragaway in a black vehicle.
Anyone with information on the incident can contact the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department at 262-605-5100.