Newly-released text messages show the gunman in a fatal shooting at a crowded East Peoria bar was frustrated about a child custody issue.
East Peoria police on Wednesday released the texts exchanged between Jason Moore and his ex-wife, Lori Moore, in the days leading up to the June 14 shooting at Fifth Quarter Sports Bar and Pizzeria. The messages date back to Thursday, June 12, when Jason Moore seemed to be willing to accept the fact that Lori Moore was moving on with her new boyfriend, Lance Griffel.
"Ok, as awkward as this may be [your boyfriend and I] will probably have to meet each other someday. I'm fine with it whenever it happens but for our kids sake I want it to be smooth," Jason Moore wrote.
"Everything will work itself out," Lori Moore later responded.
Two days later, the messages took a darker turn. Jason Moore repeatedly asked to see their two children while she attended her high school reunion at Fifth Quarter. She refused, saying she would be home by 9:00 p.m. He then indicated he would be watching her at the bar, adding that her refusal to let him see the kids was the second time she'd violated his visitation rights (which gave him access to the kids if she were going to leave them with someone else for more than four hours).
He then sent a string of messages, saying things like "grow up," and "You and Lance can enjoy my money."
The final text, sent at 7:14 p.m. on June 14, read, "Anywho, I'm going to show up [at Fifth Quarter] just to piss you off."
Roughly 45 minutes later, Jason Moore walked into the bar, had a quick conversation with a couple of people, then shot his ex-wife and Griffel in the head at close range. Both victims died at the hospital. Jason Moore was fatally wounded when an off-duty FBI agent returned fire.
Investigators say the messages shed little light on exactly how angry Moore was before the shooting.
"In the scheme of things, they were not that overt. But I think, clearly, that day, Jason Moore snapped," East Peoria Police Chief Dick Ganschow said.
He says a contributing factor to Moore's actions may have been a mixture of prescription drugs and alcohol. Moore was drinking on the day of the shooting, although it's not clear how heavily; he paid a $9 tab at another bar a few hours before he went to Fifth Quarter. Moore also had a prescription for a sleep aid and an anti-depressant, but it's also not clear whether he was taking them at the time. A toxicology report is pending, but those leads are only pieces of the puzzle.
"It may be at the end of this that we don't have the answers that we want. But we will continue to try to get those answers," said Ganschow.
The transcript of the text messages is below:
THURSDAY, JULY 12
Jason: Ok, as awkward as this may be we'll probably have to meet each other someday. I'm fine with it whenever it happens but for our kids sake I want it to be smooth. (6:28 p.m.)
Jason: They like his dog (6:28 p.m.)
Lori: True (6:30 p.m.)
Jason: I'm not sure which part your responding to (6:30 p.m.)
Lori: Well I guess both, but I was talking about the first one ( 6:30 p.m.)
Jason: Ok. I'm cool it. Good for you. (6:32 p.m.)
Jason: I'm not trying to start shit. I can picture all of us hanging at the Shuler's someday having fun (6:32 p.m.)
Jason: Our kids will come first (6:32 p.m.)
Jason: I meant I'm cool with it (6:32 p.m.)
Lori: Yes they will. Everything will work itself out. (6:32 p.m.)
Jason: Not I'm cool it. (6:32 p.m.)
Jason: So if you guys get real serious and live together please reconsider our child support agreement. I'm struggling to make ends meet. (6:52 p.m.)
Jason: I know the kids aren't just a paycheck for you (7:00 p.m.)
Lori: Ok (7:00 p.m.)
Jason: Are the kids still at your parents? (7:34 p.m.)
Lori: No, I picked them up at 4:30 (7:34 p.m.)
Jason: Ok (7:44 p.m.)
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
Jason: I'll pick the kids up in the morning between 8 and 9 (2:44 p.m.)
Lori: Ok. (2:44 p.m.)
Jason: I'll text you when I'm only way (2:46 p.m.)
Jason: On my way (2:46 p.m.)
Lori: Ok (2:46 p.m.)
Jason: Are the kids staying with your parents tonight for your reunion? (5:38 p.m.)
Lori: No (5:41 p.m.)
Lori: They are at home. (5:41 p.m.)
Jason: You can leave them with me so you guys can go (5:43 p.m.)
Jason: This sounds cryptic. I'll watch the kids instead of whoever is watching them at your house while you guys go (5:45 p.m.)
Lori: They are fine. I can only stay only until 9 (5:45 p.m.)
Jason: Ok (5:47 p.m.)
Lori: Thanks though. (5:47 p.m.)
Jason: I wasn't trying to be nice to you, I just wanted my kids (5:49 p.m.)
Jason. Ok. I'll see you at the 5th quarter until 9 (5:53 p.m.)
Lori: Creepy (6:02 p.m.)
Jason: Don't flatter yourself, I just want my kids. Enjoy your night but please realize that my kids probably want to see me as much as I want to see them (6:06 p.m.)
Jason: I'm guessing you think that you're the center of their universe but I matter to them too (6:10 p.m.)
Jason: Who's watching my kids? (7:04 p.m.)
Jason: They can stay with me (7:04 p.m.)
Lori: I'm going home tonight. I do not need you to watch the kids. (7:04 p.m.)
Jason: It's not a matter of need. Grow up. They can have a night with me (7:05 p.m.)
Jason: This will be time number 2 for you to violate by 1st right (7:06 p.m.)
Jason: Why do you fn care? (7:04 p.m.)
Lori: If it's longer than 4 hours (7:06 p.m.)
Jason: Of course. I'm not asking for a free-bee. You obviously have plans. Grow up. (7:08 p.m.)
Jason: You'll still get your child support (7:08 p.m.)
Jason: So stop it. You and Lance can spend the night together. I still have to (7:09 p.m.)
Jason: Pay (7:09 p.m.)
Jason: You're fine (7:09 p.m.)
Jason: I will pay child support from now until Callie is 18. Relax, you and Lance can enjoy my money until then (7:12 p.m.)
Jason: Anywho, I'm going to show up just to piss you off (7:14 p.m.)