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Pre-trial hearing delayed for man charged in hate crime shooting in Chicago suburb

Chicago area mom shot in alleged hate crime faces suspect, her neighbor
Chicago area mom shot in alleged hate crime faces suspect, her neighbor 02:34

CHICAGO (CBS) — The pre-trial hearing for the 70-year-old man accused of shooting and injuring his neighbor last month in Lockport Township was delayed until July after a court appearance on Friday.

John Shadbar pleaded not guilty to several charges, including attempted murder and a hate crime. Friday's hearing was supposed to be the first pre-trial hearing for him.

The victim, Melissa Robertson, who showed up to the court hearing Friday morning in a wheelchair because of her injuries, came face to face with Shadbar for the first time since the shooting. He did not look at her while in the courtroom.

"Every time I come here, I'm going to be stronger and stronger," Robertson said. "This wheelchair, hopefully, I don't have it next time, and it's the process."

Back in May, prosecutors said Shadbar allegedly shot her with an assault rifle outside her unincorporated Lockport home. They said the shooting was racially motivated because Robertson is white and has two Black sons. Prosecutors also said he opened fire on Robertson five times, striking her twice during a heated exchange. 

Her family previously said Shadbar would harass them regularly and yell racial slurs at Robertson's two boys.

"Yeah I didn't know it was going to get this bad," she said. "I really couldn't imagine this at all, but there were times when he was shooting over the fence that I was concerned and I made sure that my kids were safe."

Following Shadbar's arrest, officers searched his home and recovered several guns, including two AK-47-style rifles, a shotgun, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Shadbar faces charges of attempted murder, a hate crime, and possessing a gun without a FOID card, among others. He was previously arrested on felony charges in 1979 and his FOID card has been revoked since then, according to the Will County Sheriff's Office.

Shadbar's wife works as a correctional officer for the Cook County Sheriff's Office. She is being investigated by the department as a result of the shooting and has been de-deputized while that investigation continues.

Robertson was hospitalized for 16 days, undergoing several surgeries to repair her colon and spleen. She's also had multiple ribs removed.

"It's the worst pain I've every experienced," Robertson said. "And it's going to be quite a few years. Multiple hand surgeries just to get part of my hand functioning."

The judge ordered that Shadbar remain in jail as he awaits trial.

His next court appearance is set for July 11.

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