Police release Fifth Quarter shooting timeline, text messages

Jeanette Kendall TimesNewspapers
East Peoria Police Chief Dick Ganschow provides a press conference June 25 about the Fifth Quarter shooting.

In any investigation authorities focus on the who, what, where, why and how, East Peoria Police Chief Dick Ganschow said. However, they may never know why Jason Moore shot and killed his ex-wife, Lori Moore, and her boyfriend Lance Griffel June 14 at the Fifth Quarter Sports Bar & Pizzeria.

“The missing piece in that puzzle is the most difficult one to come by and that is why,” Ganschow said. “As our investigation is continuing, we may never be able to understand the why and never be able to make sense out of the senseless.”

Authorities conducted a press conference at the Civic Plaza in East Peoria June 25.

“My hope is that somehow, some way, we are able to use what we learn to educate and help others, perhaps something we say, something someone hears or reads about this will reach someone. It will strike a chord that will help a potential victim to recognize threats and seek protection, or a person or a family member may recognize a potential danger in themselves or a loved one and get the help that they need to prevent another terrible tragedy,” Ganschow said.

Authorities released a timeline of the events that led up to the double homicide, as well as text messages between Jason Moore and Lori Moore a couple of days prior to and the day of the shooting.

At about 1:47 p.m. June 14, Jason Moore went to Ron’s Rack in East Peoria. Witnesses said he had about two or three beers with lunch. 

“We do not know if he had been drinking prior to going to Ron’s Rack,” Ganschow said. “We cannot speak on how much alcohol he drank while he was there.”

Ganschow said police are awaiting toxicology results on Jason Moore. He added that when police searched Jason Moore’s home, they found two prescriptions, a sleep aide and an anti-depressant that had been recently filled, but it was not known whether Jason was taking them. 

At 2:44 p.m., Jason sent Lori a text message telling her he would pick up their children in the morning.

At 5:38 p.m., Jason asked Lori in a text, “Are the kids staying with your parents tonight for your reunion?”

Lori said the kids were at home and would be fine, adding that she could only stay at the reunion until 9 p.m.

When Lori thanked Jason for offering to watch the kids while she was at the reunion, he said, “I wasn’t trying to be nice to you, I just wanted my kids. OK. I’ll see you at the 5th Quarter until 9.”

Lori responded, “Creepy.”

Jason continued to ask about the children and said, “I’m guessing you think that you’re the center of their universe but I matter to them too.”

At 7:14 p.m., Jason sent the last text, which said, “Anywho, I’m going to show up (at the Fifth Quarter) just to piss you off.”

At 7:43 p.m, Jason arrived at the Fifth Quarter where he engaged in conversation at the front entrance for a few minutes.

According to the timeline supplied by authorities, Jason Moore entered the bar at 7:46 p.m. and stood at a counter for a few minutes before walking away, out of the view of the security camera. He shot both Lori and Griffel in the head. Within 10 seconds, he walked back to the counter and placed the gun under his chin and fired, causing superficial wounds, according to authorities. He then lowered the gun, which was pointed in front of him. He pointed the gun at his head and then lowered it again, with the gun pointing forward. An off-duty FBI agent then shot Moore twice. At the same time, a patron who was outside came in and tackled Moore. The entire incident took place in about 15 seconds.

“It is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to understand what broke in Jason Moore that caused him to go to this length,” Ganschow said.

The text messages Jason Moore sent to Lori two days before the shooting even mentioned him meeting her new boyfriend. 

He said, “I’m fine with it whenever it happens but for our kid’s sake I want it to be smooth.”

Jason asked his ex-wife to reconsider their child support agreement if she moved in with Griffel.

“I’m struggling to make ends meet,” he told her in the text.

Ganschow said Jason had a good job at UPS and was paying his ex-wife $1,000 a month in child support. The couple was divorced in May.

In the next to the last text message Jason sent Lori before the shooting, he said, “I will pay child support until (their daughter) is 18. Relax, you and Lance can enjoy my money until then.”

Ganschow said none of the texts expressed any direct threats.

Authorities interviewed about 100 witnesses regarding the incident.

“We have not spoken to anyone, frankly, that has not been shocked or surprised by what happened,” Ganschow said.

Prior to the conference, Ganschow said he didn’t want to use the word “common” regarding the incident, but he apparently changed his mind.

“These things are getting to be all too common across the country,” he said during the conference. 

Regarding how people should respond in a situation like this, he added, “It’s specific to the person. We’re fortunate that there that night, there was a highly trained, very brave officer with the training and the experience to deal with this. We’re also fortunate there was another citizen there willing to put his life in harm’s way to stop this. That doesn’t mean those people are always going to be present in this scenario. I think that’s a call people are going to have to make. But generally speaking it’s good to flee harm.”