Waterloo Police Investigate Fight, Shooting and Near Brawl at Hospital
By Dave Franzman, Reporter
WATERLOO, Iowa- Two young Waterloo men are recovering following both a fight and a shooting Wednesday night. Police believe what ended up as incidents in three separate locations are actually all connected.
The fight at Crossroads Center in Waterloo began just after seven o'clock Wednesday night. Authorities said a group of men beat Keith Hayes, 20, until he was unconscious. He was transported to Allen Hospital. Then less than two hours later, authorities got a call about a drive-by shooting at 428 Cherry Street. Investigators said Tondrell Gary, 18, suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder. When police arrived at that scene they found Gary had made his own way to the hospital.
Authorities said that's where the third incident took place as friends of both the assault and shooting victims got into a verbal argument in the emergency room. Police said hospital security broke it up and separated the groups before that incident escalated into a physical confrontation.
One friend of the assault victim, who didn't reveal her identity, explained what she heard at the hospital from Hayes.
"One guy came up to him and tried to fight him and they did fight. It was him and a guy fighting at first, and then here come all of his friends and they beat him unconscious," the friend said.
That friend said someone involved in the mall attack posted video on social media before removing it. Friends of Hayes kept a still image of the attack's aftermath. It showed the assault victim lying face down on the floor.
Capt. Tim Pillack, Waterloo Police public information officer, said investigators are checking whether the shooting that took place less than two hours later was done in retaliation.
"There are two groups acquainted with each other. The same people know each other from both groups. We're looking into the exact cause of the assault, the reason for the shooting and anything else we can put together," Pillack said.
The assault victim's friend confirmed that the two groups crossed paths at the hospital emergency room. That's where words were exchanged before hospital security intervened. She disputed the idea that friends of assault victim Hayes were involved in the shooting, because she said all of them were at the hospital looking after their friend. She said she didn't know what sparked the beating at the mall.
"I really have no idea why they are all mad at each other. Why are they mad at him? I don't know why," she said.
Family members of shooting victim Gary did not want to comment extensively. His mother, Mia Gary, said she didn't believe her son was involved in the mall assault.
Gary was released from the hospital. Hayes also left Thursday morning but returned later for more treatment.
Waterloo Police have not made any arrests.