Three People Shot in SE Cedar Rapids

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

Law enforcement personal work the scene of a shooting in the 1200 block of Third Ave. SE Thursday, May 23, 2013 in Cedar Rapids. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Three people were shot on Cedar Rapids southeast side Thursday afternoon.

Police responded to the shooting that took place at 1233 3rd Ave SE, at 12:19 p.m. Police Chief Wayne Jerman said suspects shot three people while they were standing in the courtyard outside of apartment #3. Emergency personnel took them to area hospitals. Authorities said one of the victims is in critical condition, the other two have serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Police say witnesses told them the suspects got into a green van in the alley after firing six to eight shots outside of the apartment complex. One of the shots hit a home in 1232 3rd Ave SE.

Julie Hutson lives in an apartment at that home. One of two gunshots that struck the building entered her apartment and lodged in a door. That shot came within a few inches of hitting a friend who was in the apartment.

"It's pretty scary actually. I was scared, I don't know if it could happen again or if it would hit me. I don't want to be on this side (of the street) anymore," Hutson said.

Chief Jerman said investigators believe the shooting was not a random event and the suspects and victims knew each other.

The chief took office during a string of shooting incidents in Cedar Rapids last year and agreed this triple shooting was a setback for his vow to reduce the number of such incidents.

"It's definitely a setback. We're totally committed to solving this and putting an end to this violence in Cedar Rapids. Again, these type of incidents just can't occur. It won't be tolerated by the police department and hopefully it won't be tolerated by the community," Chief Jerman said.

Police are still looking for two shooters. They are described as two black men wearing black sweatshirts and blue jeans.

Third Avenue SE was closed in the area of the investigation, but has since been opened to traffic.
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