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Police Asking If Monday Night, Previous Shots Fired Incidents Are Related

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Cedar Rapids police are exploring whether Monday night’s shots fired incident is the latest in an ongoing dispute that has resulted in multiple shots fired incidents this year.

“It’s still early in the investigation, but we’re not ruling it out,” Chief Wayne Jerman said Tuesday. “There’s several pieces of information that are being looked into.”

Police responded to the area of Fifth Avenue and 15th Street SE around 5:54 p.m. Monday for a report of shots fired. No injuries were reported and police are still investigating the scope of the property damage. At least two vehicles were hit by gunfire, police confirmed Tuesday.

Public safety spokesman Greg Buelow said investigators are not releasing any new details in the case and no arrest have been made.

“It’s still an active investigation,” Buelow said.

The city has been caught up in a wave of gun violence and shots fired incidents since the beginning of the year. At a news conference in late April, Jerman said police had responded to 28 shots fired incidents in 2014. During that same time period in 2013, there were only 11 such incidents.

The shooting incidents have occurred throughout the city and Jerman said in April that many of the incidents appear to be related and have potentially been committed by the same rival groups. However, Jerman reiterated Tuesday — as he has in the past — that police do not suspect gangs are at the root of the shootings.

“It’s not involving rival gangs,” Jerman said. “There are groups. They’re not formally organized into street gangs or anything of that nature.”

Jerman said the groups are “settling whatever disputes, disagreements or conflicts they have by way of gunfire.”

All of the shooting investigations remain open, Jerman said.

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