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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • Fifth Quarter reopens after shooting, co-owner says community is supportive of restaurant

  • The first two patrons came in for lunch about 11 a.m. today at the Fifth Quarter Sports Bar & Pizzeria, 1110 N. Main St., in East Peoria.

    The business had been closed since Saturday evening when a shooting occurred at 7:49 p.m.
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  • The first two patrons came in for lunch about 11 a.m. today at the Fifth Quarter Sports Bar & Pizzeria, 1110 N. Main St., in East Peoria.
    The business had been closed since Saturday evening when a shooting occurred at 7:49 p.m.
    Jason Moore entered the business where his ex-wife, Lori Moore, 33, of Morton, and her boyfriend Lance E. Griffel, 36, of Peoria, were attending a class reunion for the East Peoria Community High School Class of 1999. Jason Moore shot Griffel and Lori Moore. They were pronounced dead at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center that same night. A man outside who heard the commotion came in and tackled Jason Moore. At the same time, an off-duty FBI agent shot and killed Jason Moore.
    Ray Koeppel, co-owner of the restaurant, said he was at a Peoria Chiefs game when he received a phone call from his manager.
    “He said, ‘We have a shooting. Two people just got shot. You need to get here.’ It just took my breath away. I just couldn’t believe it. How does this happen here? What happened? How did two people get shot on my property? We don’t have that kind of crowd,” he said.
    “This could have happened anywhere. It’s just not supposed to happen in East Peoria, Ill., but it did,” he said.
    There were three parties going on the night the incident occurred. Koeppel said the entire staff was working with the exception of two people. There were about 300 people on the property — on the patio, in the bar and in the restaurant area, he said.
    Jason Moore entered the restaurant, Koeppel said, apparently with a motive and fired shots. After shooting Griffel and Lori Moore, he attempted to shoot himself in the head and missed. The bullet hit the ceiling.
    “By the grace of God we had two good samaritans, one being the off-duty FBI agent and the other being a customer who acted and possibly saved dozens of lives and I’m grateful for that.”
    Koeppel said it is amazing more people were not injured.
    “There is a hole in the wall covered by a picture and then a window got shot out. There were at least 50 to 70 people between the victims and those two bullets and nobody else got hurt. One of them was chest high and one of them was head high. It’s amazing. It’s incredible,” he said.
    If anyone knows of a person who is troubled they should try to get them help, Koeppel said.
    Page 2 of 3 - “There was only one person who knew what was going on and unfortunately it cost three people their lives and affected hundreds of others,” Koeppel said.
    By the comments on Facebook and heard verbally, Koeppel said he does not think the business will be impacted in a negative way.
    “We’ve already got tons of support — phone calls and on our Facebook page. You know, you think the worst immediately. You think, ‘Oh, I’m done. Nobody will ever want to come back in my building.’”
    Koeppel said he thinks media reports have helped explain to the public that the shooting wasn’t a result of the business.
    “This was the result of a relationship gone bad,” he said.
    After the incident, Koeppel said local and state police and the FBI investigated and sealed the restaurant off as a crime scene. People were not able to take any belongings.
    “We had to vacate the property and let them do their thing before we could do anything,” Koeppel said. “Literally all the TVs were left on on the patio, out here, burning candles and garbage on the tables out here. We couldn’t touch it because it was a crime scene.”
    Sunday afternoon authorities released the restaurant and Koeppel said a professional cleaning service was hired.
    Since the incident, Koeppel has watched the video footage hundreds of times. 
    “He sat there and talked to some girls. Then, he turned his head and he seen what he was looking for. He walked over, pulled his gun out and shot the gentleman in the back of the head and shot her in the face,” Koeppel said. “Then he walked back over here, put the gun to his chin. I don’t know what happened. He shot through the roof. Then, he put it up to his temple and when the gun jammed, he kind of looked at it. That’s when the good samaritan came in and grabbed him and that’s when the off-duty FBI guy shot him.”
    Koeppel is proud of how his staff handled the situation.
    “(They acted) extremely well. They tried to comfort the ones outside. They gave them water and tried to make them feel comfortable,” he said. 
    Over the past couple of days, employees boxed up people’s belongings for them to pick up.
    “It’s a terrible situation. All you can do is offer your support,” Koeppel said.
    Time will tell how the situation impacts his staff, he said.
    Page 3 of 3 - “I think a lot of them are still in shock. When the incident happened, a lot of people just stood there. They didn’t know what’s going on. They don’t get it. Then, all of the sudden it’s fight or flight.”
    Koeppel is confident that the community continues to support the business.
    The first two patrons for lunch when the restaurant reopened June 18 said they were well aware of the shootings, but that would not stop them from coming to eat there.
    “It’s a bad thing that could have happened anywhere,” said Roger Cramer of East Peoria. “It’s a nice place, nice people, always good food. It’s always been a safe environment, a good environment.”
    Cramer’s long-time pal, Greg Kremer of Washington, said they are regulars who like to get the lunch special at the 5th Quarter while they chat about various topics. The two men frequent the restaurant about three times a week.
    Koeppel said he is not going to do anything different at the restaurant.
    “You put trust in God and trust in human nature to do the right thing. Other than that, I don’t think we can alter our lives or anybody else’s lives. I don’t want to do that,” he said.
    Events already planned at the Fifth Quarter will also continue as scheduled. A Fun Night for St. Jude Benefit will take place at the Fifth Quarter June 28. The band Skin Deep will perform at 9 p.m.
    For more information about the Fifth Quarter, visit www.5qsportsbar.com/ or call 713-3436.

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