The Kenosha County, Wis., sheriff's office has confirmed the names of three men from the Aurora area killed in a shooting Sunday evening at the Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wis.
But a lack of cooperation among those with information about the shooting has hampered the investigation, officials said Monday.
Khalid Howard, 30; Derek Edwards, 26; and David Watson, 30, were all killed in the triple shooting, said Kenosha County Sgt. Mark Malecki.
Authorities, who Monday afternoon were still searching for one man they said is responsible for the shootings, believe gang motivation is "a strong possibility," but are still gathering preliminary information, Malecki said.
"I know they were targeted," Malecki said.
The victims were known gang members from the Aurora area and investigators are looking into the possibility that the shooter is from a rival gang, Malecki said.
Kane County court records show that at one point, Howard had an Aurora address, Edwards had a North Aurora address and Watson had an Oswego address.
According to family and friends, all three men were also fathers.
Jalissa Pool, 24, said Edwards was involved in the lives of their two daughters, who are 5 months and 2 years old. She described him as goofy and caring, saying he "looks out for everybody."
"He just wanted to live to see his kids grow up," Pool said.
Pool said she knew Edwards was close with Howard, but wasn't sure about Watson.
"I just don't understand how this could happen," Pool said. "How could (5,000) people be at that event and three people get killed and the shooter get away? Me, his family, his friends ... we need answers."
Pool said she hadn't told her daughters yet, but thought the older child could tell something was wrong, because she kept coming up to her mother and asking for her father.
"He was a loving and caring man who didn't deserve to be taken away from his kids and not have justice for it," Pool said.
Reached by phone, members of Watson's family described him as a kind man and loving father to his son. His aunt, Caroline Watson, said the family is devastated by his death.
Each of the men was killed while out on bond for pending felony charges in separate cases out of Kane County, records show.
At a news conference Monday afternoon, Sheriff Dave Beth said authorities were still looking for the male gunman who shot two of the three men, shot the third as he tried to get away around a tent and then returned and shot the two others a second time.
"He had enough time and enough arrogance to go back up and actually make sure that they were dead," Beth said.
No one else was hit by gunfire, authorities said.
The drag strip near Union Grove is about 25 miles south of Milwaukee, in southeastern Wisconsin. It opened about 62 years ago, according to its website.
A minute before 7 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff's office was called to the drag strip near Union Grove for reported shots fired, Malecki said.
At the time, Larry's Funfest was hosting a planned event and providing its own security, said Malecki, who added that the group has hosted events there in the past.
The sheriff's office estimated that more than 5,000 people were at the raceway for the event, which is advertised online as including drag racing, tailgating, live entertainment and a car show.
Officers and medics found three men shot. Two were dead at the scene and one was later pronounced dead at a hospital, Malecki said.
The men were shot at point-blank range near a food vendor, Beth said at a news conference Sunday night. No suspects had been arrested, and no one else was injured.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner is handling the autopsies, Malecki said.
"Wisconsin reached out to us in reference to their investigation," Aurora Police Department spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in an email. "We supplied the info they were seeking and pledged our assistance in any we can."
Beyond that, Ferrelli declined to comment further on the three men, saying they don't discuss investigations by outside agencies.
The sheriff's office is encouraging anyone with information about the shooting to contact them.
The track was opened in 1955 by Robert W. Metzler on what had been farmland, according to Metzler's obituary in the Tribune in 2012.
Metzler persuaded some of the biggest names in racing to come to his track, among them Don Schumacher, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and Tommy Ivo, according to the obituary. He also brought Evel Knievel there for a heavily promoted appearance in 1973.
Metzler sold the racetrack in early 1995.
In 1998, a trackside photographer was killed at the strip when a car veered out of control and flew over a guardrail, landing on top of him. That fatality was the first at the strip since 1979, according to a Tribune story.
The Associated Press contributed.