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NEWS | Jan. 11, 2022

Illinois National Guard Soldier's Quick Actions Saves Lives During Shooting

The quick actions of a Soldier in the Illinois Army National Guard is credited with saving many lives during a shooting at the Somers House Tavern in Kenosha, Wisconsin, April 18.

Spc. Jared Reyes, of Harvard, Illinois, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 33rd Military Police Battalion, based in Machesney Park, was off duty with friends at the tavern in Kenosha when the shooting occurred. Two of Reyes’ friends were wounded by the gunfire. Reyes assisted his friends before he began ushering others to safety.

“Specialist Reyes’ actions went above and beyond what a normal person would do,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Brandon Golden, of Easton, Illinois, the 33rd Military Police Battalion’s command sergeant major. “Most would run and seek a place to hide, but Specialist Reyes ran toward the danger, a rare valorous act during an active shooter situation.”

Golden describes Reyes as a Soldier who is well-disciplined, but also quiet and reserved.

“Specialist Reyes is a model Soldier who is great at his job,” Golden said.

According to the Kenosha County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Office, deputies and detectives responded to the tavern for reports of a shooting which resulted in three fatalities and three additional shooting victims. The suspect had been asked to leave the bar, but returned and opened fire, according to published news reports.

Reyes has downplayed his heroic deeds of April 18.

"I appreciate all the accolades I've received, but, to be honest, rehashing the events of that night over and over has been a bit wearing on me," Reyes said. "I reacted to the situation to protect my friends and others. I think that many with my training and experience would've done the same thing."

Reyes enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard on April 25, 2017 as a 31B, Military Police, completing both Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Reyes was recently honored during the Army-Navy football game by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James C. McConville, as one of 10 Soldiers who have made significant contributions over the past year in areas such as COVID operations, operations at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, Afghanistan, the Soldier’s local community, or other areas worthy of recognition.