The mother of a son cut down by gunfire does not understand why one of the men involved in the shooting death continues to be arrested.

“I’m speechless. I just don’t know when they’re going to do something. Does it take him being involved in another person’s murder to do anything?” Kristina Labath told Local 4 News on Saturday.

She was stunned to learn that a 22-year-old Silvis man – one of three people accused in 2018 in the incident that led to her son’s shooting death – was arrested again Saturday morning.

Rory D. Bruno Jr. faces a felony charge of felon in possession of a firearm, and serious misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance – cannabidiol – first offense and fourth-degree theft, court records show.

Rory Bruno Jr. (Scott County Jail)

Early Saturday in a school parking lot

Shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday, officers saw multiple vehicles parked in the south parking lot of West High School, 3505 W. Locust St., Davenport. “This extra patrol was due to recent shootings and several disturbances in this location,” arrest affidavits say.

Officers allege they could smell a strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicles and saw several open containers of alcohol on the ground in front of the vehicles, according to affidavits.

Police approached the parked vehicles with emergency lights. One vehicle left eastbound, but officers were able to block in two vehicles. One was a black Chevy Equinox. Bruno, the driver, police allege in affidavits, “attempted to flee the scene by reversing and attempting to drive forward toward squad cars. The vehicle was blocked in and was not able to flee the area.”

Officers approached the passenger side of the vehicle and could smell a strong odor of marijuana emanating from it. Officers saw the magazine of a firearm in Bruno’s waistband. Police allege the gun was stolen out of Bettendorf, according to affidavits.

Affidavits say the theft of the firearm exceeded $300 in value but does not exceed $750 in value. The gun was valued at $540.

Bruno had marijuana that had a total weight of 6.90 grams. “The defendant was also currently under the influence of marijuana,” police allege in affidavits.

According to affidavits, Bruno is a convicted felon out of Rock Island County: “The charge was a felony conviction on 09-30-2020 for Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm.”

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022

In December of 2022, Bruno, then 21, faced multiple charges in Scott County after police allege he drove 80 mph without his car’s lights on during a police chase.

He faced a felony charge of eluding, and serious misdemeanor charges of operating while under the influence – first offense, and possession of controlled substance – first offense, according to court records.

About 2 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, Davenport Police were around East 33rd Street and Eastern Avenue to try to relocate a red Ford Fusion, according to arrest affidavits.

According to affidavits, officers saw the car traveling east on East 33rd Street toward Eastern Avenue with no headlights on. The vehicle began to travel at a high rate of speed and officers initiated a traffic stop, according to affidavits.

Fully marked squad cars engaged their emergency lights and sirens and the suspect did not stop at the intersection for the stop sign, then continued south at a high rate of speed, affidavits say.

Officers lost sight of the suspect vehicle and relocated it at East River Drive and Mound Street. The car began to travel at a high rate of speed and turned off its lights again, arrest affidavits allege.

According to affidavit allegations, officers in a fully marked squad car tried another traffic stop and engaged their emergency lights and sirens, but the suspect (Bruno) refused to stop and continued east on East River Drive toward McClellan Boulevard, then headed east in the westbound lanes on River Drive to drive around traffic.

The Fusion was traveling at speeds of about “80 mph and climbing” at the River Drive and Greenwood Avenue intersection, arrest affidavits say. The speed limit at the intersection is 45 mph.

The Fusion continued east on Grant Street toward 15th Street. It swerved between the eastbound lanes as it continued east, affidavits allege.

“The suspect vehicle was disabled, and the defendant was taken into custody,” according to affidavits.

Police allege Bruno, the driver, had bloodshot, watery eyes and also had a strong odor similar to an alcoholic beverage from his person which got stronger when he spoke, affidavits say.

After he was read his Miranda Rights, Bruno said all of the property in the vehicle was his. Officers allegedly saw 18.35 grams of marijuana in the car, according to affidavits.

Bruno refused to do the standard field sobriety tests and refused to take a preliminary breath test, and also refused to provide a breath sample, police allege in affidavits.

A homicide in 2018

In 2018, Moline Police arrested three suspects in connection to the Dec. 9 death of 31-year-old William Fowler.

William Fowler and his family (Kristina Labath)

It happened in the 400 block of 8th Street just before 6a.m. in the Floreciente neighborhood, police said. 

In a press release, Moline Police say on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018, the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office issued warrants for 29-year-old Nathan C. Luten of Silvis, Bruno, then 17, and a 15-year-old juvenile East Moline resident. (Luten later was sentenced to serve 22 years in prison with credit for time he already served, court records say.)

According to the release, the investigation revealed that the residence on the 400 block of 8th Street was targeted because of ongoing gang conflicts, but William Fowler was not the intended target, “nor did he have any association or relationship with those involved.”

Kristina Labath and her late son, William Fowler. (photo: Kristina Labath)

Bruno, who was being held Saturday on $5,000 bond in Scott County Jail, is set for a preliminary hearing on May 30 in Scott County Court.