Homicide Suspect in Custody, Officials Identify Victim

By Addison Speck, Reporter

CENTRAL CITY, Iowa - Investigators have released the name of the victim in a rural Central City homicide. It was 47-year-old Gregory O'Hare, of Cedar Rapids who was found dead early Friday morning.

Officials received a call from a neighbor on Janette Nehl Lane in rural Central City at about 8:30 a.m. about a body lying in a yard. Upon arrival deputies found O'Hare. "That's when we realized there were clues that led us to a residence and perhaps the suspect," said Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.

Officers knocked on doors in the neighborhood asking people to stay inside their homes until further notice. "The sheriff came to my door and asked us to stay inside, they said they had a situation," said Mitchell Hurt, of Muckersville. Hurt said he had a doctor's appointment but had to cancel because he couldn't leave. While he didn't see too much of what was going on, Hurt did spot a member of the SWAT team walking by. "He was totally covered in camo, had high powered riffle in his hand and another gun slung over his shoulder," said Hurt, "it was a little eerie."

The SWAT team was brought in to set a perimeter around the home on 2567 Windy Hill Circle. Police were trying to get Martin Paul Wilkinson, 63, out. Officials believe the home Wilkinson was in, was his own and neighbors told TV9 the same. Authorities brought in negotiators to try and talk Wilkinson out. But after multiple attempts, Gardner said it became clear he wasn't coming out on his own.

Much of the area, considered Muckersville, was blocked off by police all day. It wasn't until around 4:00 p.m. Friday that TV9 crews on scene heard several popping noises.

Officers made the decision to use tear gas to get Wilkinson out. He then exited the home, but according to officers, began to struggle with deputies. Gardner said a taser gun then had to be used to get him into handcuffs. "Because of the chemical agent here and because of the policy reguarding the use of taser, we have transported him, non-emergency, to be checked by a doctor," said Gardner. The suspect was the only person in the home at the time of the standoff.

As of noon on Saturday, Wilkinson was still at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids for treatment of injuries. Officers believe those injuries were received beforehand.

Neighbors told TV9 on Saturday that the Windy Hill Circle neighborhood is fairly quiet and that everyone knows everyone. But some did say that Wilkinson and O'Hare didn't always get along. "Marty was my friend and neighbor and I know he was continuously harassed by this individual and it went a little too far obviously," said Max Lathum, who lives nearby. "They were telling me that there was a man shot and drug back to the road and I knew pretty much who did it," added Hurt.

Crews remained on scene for some time after the standoff to ventilate the home from chemicals and investigate. Officials believed there may be multiple weapons inside the home, according to people close to the suspect who informed authorities. Officials have not released any more information about what they found inside the home, but by Saturday afternoon the scene was quiet and clear.

Gardner wasn't able to identify what type of injuries O'Hare had received, but an autopsy will be performed.

Charges are pending and it remains under investigation.
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