Lawyer retained by family of man killed in Willowbrook-area mass shooting

Some residents living near the scene of a mass shooting at a Juneteenth weekend party in the Willowbrook area did not want the large annual gathering to happen.

A few hundred people assembled Saturday at a shopping center parking lot at Route 83 and Honeysuckle Rose Lane for the third annual Juneteenth celebration.

The party turned violent, with a couple of fights breaking out. In the early hours Sunday, gunfire erupted. Reginald Meadows, a 31-year-old father of two, was killed and 22 others were wounded, according to DuPage County officials.

Flyers had promoted the event for weeks, and a film production crew had been invited to record a local rapper’s music video.

"Before this event had taken place, [neighbors] had communicated that they did not want this event to take place given that there were instances of loitering and littering, and just damage to the local area based on the years past when this occurred," said Robert Fakhouri, an attorney representing Meadows’ family.

A lawsuit hasn’t been filed, but Fakhouri said he is looking into the possibility of filing a wrongful death case against the property owner of the shopping center. He also is seeking out people who have information about how the event was promoted and who was involved.


Two tenants of the shopping center continued selling alcohol until shots were fired around 12:30 a.m. Sunday — well past their 11 p.m. closing times, according to Fakhouri.

"A property owner owes a duty to those that he allows and invites onto his premises," Fakhouri said. "This is not something that was spontaneous or a surprise event. This was something that was promoted and advertised for weeks in advance of the event."

The lawyer said he’s been communicating with Meadows’ family — his siblings, two children and the mother of his kids.

"They’re not well," Fakhouri said. "Reginald was there with his other family members, his nieces and nephews. They live just 200 yards away from this location; they were there to celebrate. He was only 31 years old, so this is a tragic loss."

A GoFundMe created to raise money for funeral expenses described Meadows as a "beacon of love and strength," and as a "devoted" and "loving father."

"Reggie worked tirelessly to ensure that his children had a stable and nurturing environment, striving to give them the best possible future," the GoFundMe organizer wrote. "However, his sudden departure has left [his kids] without their pillar of strength, facing an uncertain road ahead."