Shooting Outside of CherryVale Mall

31 Year Old Man Dead After “Drive-Behind” Shooting

James Haberstich, Editor In Chief

On Friday, February 23, a man was fatally shot outside of the CherryVale Mall in Rockford, Illinois. The shooting was considered to be a “drive-behind shooting”, and was the fourth homicide of the week in Winnebago County according to Sheriff Gary Caruana. This shooting was speculated to involve someone in a vehicle behind the SUV. Cherry Valley police officers were called around 4 p.m. that afternoon, and found the man dead in a dark-colored vehicle. There was no blood found on the victim’s body. It appeared that no other people were injured or killed, and the shooter is still considered to be at large. Investigators did not have a lot to go on, as no one could provide any information on a physical description of the shooter, the vehicle they were in, or that vehicle’s license plate number. The motive of the shooter is also currently unknown. After the incident, the mall remained open as normal (

A photo of the response from authorities after the incident.  Photo credit to

As far as the identity of the victim, the Winnebago County coroner’s office identified the man as thirty-one year old Ricky Smith. His death is still under investigation by the Cherry Valley Police Department and an autopsy is pending on the victim.


Although the CherryVale Mall remained open after the incident, the mall staff took note of it. They have raised the amount of security measures in the mall but did not specify by how much. Customers are also encouraged to report any suspicious actions in the mall to the authorities, as well as offered a way to speak anonymously with any tips they could give to the police (