Iowa City , Cedar Rapids Shootings Likely Unrelated

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa. -- Cities on both ends of the corridor have been dealing with the same issue in 2014 — several shooting incidents but few arrests.

However, while four Cedar Rapids men have been connected with at least two of the shootings in Iowa City, police said the incidents in either city are probably not related.

“It’s kind of unusual,” Iowa City Police Lt. Mike Brotherton said of the number of Cedar Rapids men connected to the Iowa City shootings. “The funny thing about it is, you run the names by the Cedar Rapids people ... and these aren’t the ones that are problematic for them up there. They have not been linked to any of those issues in Cedar Rapids.”

Cedar Rapids police have responded to 39 shootings in the city this year. The Iowa City Police Department has responded to at least four shooting incidents this year.

On March 7, a teenager from Cedar Rapids was paralyzed when she was hit by a bullet during a shooting at a west side apartment complex. Police have arrested two Cedar Rapids men, 19-year-old Gage Rupp and 20-year-old Devasier Cungtion, in connection with that incident.

A third Cedar Rapids man, 19-year-old Travonte Hughes, and an Iowa City man — 20-year-old Dimione Walker — are wanted in connection with the shooting but remain at large.

Police responded to a report of numerous shots fired at the Pheasant Ridge Apartments on April 20. No arrests have been made in that case.

In May, Iowa City police arrested 19-year-old Cedar Rapids man Daquan D. Jefferson in connection with a shooting in Iowa City.

Iowa City police also made two arrests Wednesday night in connection with a shooting at the Pheasant Ridge apartments. Those suspects are from Iowa City and Coralville.

Brotherton said he has provided Cedar Rapids investigators with information on their shooting investigations.

“They’re focusing on these other people,” Brotherton said. “The ones that are down here, there may be some connection. But, as far as I know, they’re not connected to anything up in Cedar Rapids.”

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman has said most — if not all — of the unsolved shootings in Cedar Rapids have been committed by the same rival groups. Jerman said he could not comment on whether the Cedar Rapids’s investigations are related to the Iowa City investigations.

“I can’t really comment on ongoing investigations,” Jerman said. “We always work with neighboring jurisdictions ... . There is a constant exchange of information and sharing of information, not just in these situations, but all the time.”

Jerman said he was updated on the open shooting investigations on Wednesday and he’s hopeful progress will continue to be made in the cases.

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