Accused Iowa City Shooter was Associates with His Victim

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By Kara Kelly

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The victim in a non-fatal shooting in Iowa City on Tuesday is apparently an associate of the accused shooter and seemingly helped him threaten a group of men near Proctor & Gamble moments before being shot in the leg.

According to new criminal complaints made public Wednesday morning, Kenny Brayans Ardon-Hernandez, 20, of Iowa City, was a passenger in a van that his would-be shooting victim was driving about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Ardon-Hernandez is accused of threatening a group of three men in the area of Highway 6 East and Lower Muscatine Road by pointing a gun at them from his seat inside the van, according to police.

The driver of the van, who has not been identified by police, is accused of speeding off after Ardon-Hernandez is accused of threatening the men, according to police. A short time later, the driver was shot in the leg, and Ardon-Hernandez is accused of discarding the gun in a nearby field, according to the complaints.

It’s unclear whether the shooting was an accident or intentional, although Ardon-Hernandez does not face attempted murder or assault charges but rather weapons and harassment charges.

A woman who is in a relationship with Ardon-Hernandez also was riding in the van, along with her 2-year-old daughter, according to the criminal complaints. Police report that the confrontation was between the three people in the van and a group of men that Ardon-Hernandez has a history of victimizing and threatening with a gun.

The group of men told police they feared for their lives and thought they were going to be shot, according to a complaint. When the gun went off in the van after it sped away from the confrontation, the 2-year-old was in the vehicle, police reported.

Iowa City police Sgt. Denise Brotherton said police are continuing to investigate the shooting, and they’re looking into whether additional charges should be filed against other people in the van.

Ardon-Hernandez is facing charges of carrying a weapon, first-degree harassment, child endangerment and felony intimidation with a dangerous weapon.

Ardon-Hernandez has a long criminal history in Iowa, including six juvenile cases and a felony theft case that ended in a plea deal last year, according to online court records.

The felony case was connected with a theft of $50,000 worth of items from an Iowa City home in May 2010. Ardon-Hernandez, and two other people, were arrested on suspicion of going into the home of a family they knew was out of town and taking mostly jewelry.

Ardon-Hernandez's juvenile record includes felony gang recruitment and conspiracy charges at age 13, felony gang participation charges at age 14, and drug, alcohol, trespassing and theft charges.

State court records list Ardon-Hernandez's alias as "Boxer."

Anyone with more information about the incident can call Iowa City police investigator Rich at 319-356-5276.
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