Police Investigate 18th Street Shooting

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids man who awoke to a volley of shots being fired into his home Tuesday morning said he is being targeted for a crime he didn’t commit.

Earl Gilmore, 33, of 220 18th St. NE, said he woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of gunfire. Gilmore said when the shots rang out, he called down to his brother, who was sleeping downstairs. After confirming his brother was safe, Gilmore called the police.

“It was hit about eight to nine times,” Gilmore said of his home.

Based on evidence collected at the scene — specifically, two different caliber casings — Gilmore said he believes two people shot into the home he has rented for nearly a year-and-a-half. Furthermore, Gilmore said he thinks he knows why his house was shot.

“Every shooting that goes on, there’s something behind it,” he said.

Gilmore thinks the shooting was retaliation for the death of Clifton Sparks, who was died on Feb. 4 near Gilmore’s home in the 1800 block of B Avenue. Sparks’ death is being treated as a homicide and no arrests have been made. Gilmore said the “talk on the street” is that he was involved in Sparks’ death and he has received threats, including death threats on Facebook. Gilmore said he had nothing to do with Sparks’ death.

“Cliff was my dude,” he said. “He was cool with me. I had no problems with him. That’s why I don’t understand why people said I had something to do with that.”

With his lease up soon, Gilmore said he plans to find somewhere else to live.

“I don’t feel safe in this house,” he said. “I don’t want to stay here. I don’t think I want to stay here tonight.”

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