The gunman in a fatal shooting at an East Peoria bar is remembered as a "class clown" and a "peacemaker" by a close friend.
The friend, who asked not to be identified, tells 1470 & 100.3 WMBD that he was shocked to learn that Jason Moore, 40, of Creve Coeur, was the one who apparently killed two people at Fifth Quarter Sports Bar and Pizzeria on Saturday night. Police say Moore walked into the bar a little before 8:00 p.m. and shot his ex-wife, Lori Moore, 33, of Morton, and her boyfriend, Lance Griffel, 36, of Peoria, in the head at point-blank range. The two victims died at the hospital. Moore died after being shot by an off-duty law enforcement officer.
The friend says he's known Moore since they were kids in Lewistown. They played sports with one another as teens, and, as adults, remained in close contact. He says Moore was always quick with a joke, and slow to anger.
"Jason was always the class clown, even as an adult. I don't think I every saw him get mad," he said.
He says if Moore was being pushed to the brink, he never showed it. Things seemed normal even up to the day before the shooting, when the two had lunch together.
"He was laughing, joking around. He didn't seem mad," he said.
A motive for the shooting may lie in Moore's relationship with his ex-wife. Lori filed for divorce in March 2013, and the paperwork was finalized two months later. While Moore's friend says he didn't show anger about the event, there was plenty of frustration dealing with custody of their children.
"I think he felt she was hanging the kids over his head," he said. "He was frustrated about it. But when he'd talk about it, he'd always start joking around right after."
Whatever the motive, it's impossible to find a justification for Moore's actions; but his lifelong friend, who offers his condolences to all of the families involved, says Moore was the last person he'd ever expect to shoot dead two people in cold blood.
"Jason was not a monster," he said. "What he did was awful, but that's not who he was."