Latest Report of Shots Fired As Cedar Rapids Crime Wave Continues
By Chris Earl, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Dozens of small children played in the sidewalks and yards on Wednesday afternoon, under a relenting sun. One of the first truly sticky days of the year.
Yet, just an hour before, the 1400 block of 4th Avenue SE was cleared out amid a surge of what neighbors say were gunshots.
Tracey Doolin moved to this block just last month from Alabama.
“A little blue car pulled up and a (person) got out and started shooting at the neighbor’s house and at the boys that were over there,” said Doolin as she held a toddler in her lap. She said her house was hit by gunfire late Wednesday afternoon.
Since moving to Cedar Rapids, Doolin said the threat of violence is constant.
“When I’m out here, sitting on the porch for an hour, you’ll see a person walking by with a gun. It never fails.”
As of Wednesday night, investigators had not announced any arrests in the report of shots fired. Wednesday’s incident comes after a recent wave of gun violence within the city limits this month:
- April 16: Raphael Blackwell, 22, died after being shot in the parking lot of Woody’s Show Club.
- April 17: Jerome Smallwood, 26, was shot in the face in the 2000 block of 5th Avenue SE.
- April 20: Three people are shot in a Kirkwood Court apartment building during a robbery. In the following days, investigators arrested three in connection, including one of the men that was shot.
City Manager Jeff Pomeranz used time at Tuesday’s City Council meeting to call on interim police chief Tom Jonker to issue a public report on the recent wave of violent crime.
“Luckily for us, (Jonker) has a lot of experience, particularly on the streets, as he was the patrol captain for the police department.”
Police have said that none of the three shooting incidents was random and that, in each incident, the shooter had some kind of relationship with the victim or victims.
“I believe Cedar Rapids is a very, very safe community,” said Pomeranz. “More arrests are coming. This is an anomaly and we need to fight this anomaly as hard as possible.”
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