Cedar Rapids Officials Investigate Armed Robbery

By Christy Aumer, Reporter

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By Ryan Jones

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Officials are investigating an early morning incident Wednesday, involving a bullet grazing the head of a young man inside an apartment complex near Westdale Mall.

Police responded to a “trouble unknown” around 3:49 a.m. at 3923 21st Avenue Place SW. Dalton Jones, 19, of Cedar Rapids said he and 18-year-old Marcus Jasa, were visiting Keaton Young, 18 and Curtis Kelley, 19, who live in the apartment when he heard a knock at the door. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin added that 29-year-old Brandon Toepfer, of Mt. Vernon was also inside the apartment during the incident.

Jones said he walked downstairs to the door, and thought he recognized one of the men through the peephole and began to open the door. “As soon as I heard the ‘click,’ [from the door lock] they barged in,” Jones said.

The commotion alerted Jones’ friends. He said around three men came up the stairs and ordered them to get on the ground. Jasa said they told them to “give us all your money and cellphones, empty your pockets.”

The group of friends told The Gazette they had just paid rent and didn’t have any money. “If you’re looking for money, this is the wrong place,” Kelley commented after the fact. According to the men, they didn’t give the intruders any cellphones or money. Jones said one of the men then fired a gun, and the bullet grazed the top of his head. He said he began to bleed and people started yelling, one of them asking, “Why did you shoot.” The invaders then left, leaving with a television.

Shortly after, Jones said he jumped into his vehicle, called the police and drove himself to Mercy Hospital around 4 a.m. He said he spent about an hour at the hospital, and received a couple of stitches. Jones said he hadn’t taken a shower yet, and bits of dried blood could still be seen on the tips of his hair Wednesday afternoon.

“I still have ringing in my ears,” Jones said. He said even a millimeter lower would have made a big difference.

The friends spent most of the day searching for who they believe are responsible for the early morning incident. They said they started searching social media for who Jones said he recognized, as well as information from an anonymous tip. The friends said they believe they know at least some of the intruders, but do not have any idea why they were targeted.

The tenants said there has been discussion about moving out of their current apartment due to Wednesday morning’s incident, but nothing has been set in stone. Looking around the two-bedroom dwelling, there didn’t appear to be any noticeable damage, but Jones said police did recover a shell casing.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin confirmed there was a shot fired inside the apartment and a television was reported taken. Sgt. Hamblin added a white male and two black males are described as possible offenders in police reports, but no arrests have been made at this time.

“It would be nice to see them in jail,” Young said.

The incident remains under investigation.
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