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Police: Verbal altercation led to fatal shooting at bar

Published: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukvalley.com)
One man was killed and two others were injured in shootings Jan. 4 in front of Lamb's Tap in Rock Falls.
Leonard "Frank" Harris

ROCK FALLS – The shootings that left one man dead and two injured outside a Rock Falls bar on Jan. 4 occurred after a verbal altercation between the shooter and his victim, police confirmed Friday.

After a week of interviews with witnesses, Rock Falls Police Chief Mike Kuelper said the fight between Leonard “Frank” Harris, 40, and Frederick A. Michels, 34, started as a verbal altercation that then turned physical. Kuelper said it was at that point that Harris started shooting outside Lamb’s Tap just after 12:30 a.m.

At the time of his death, Michels had been involved in a relationship with Harris’ ex-wife, Brenda Harris. The Harrises had been divorced since Oct. 31. She, Kuelper said, was at the bar with Michels when the fight broke out.

The two other men injured in the fight, Jason Chapman, 37, and David Adams, 22, were just, as Kuelper said, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

After the shooting, Harris left the bar, walked north across the First Avenue bridge, and went into his Sixth Avenue home. Police arrived a short while later. They then heard a gunshot and entered the building. Harris was found dead in his garage of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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