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Body found at southeast Cedar Rapids park; second fatal shooting in 24 hours

The body of a 22-year-old man found Friday morning in a Cedar Rapids park marks the second homicide of the year in the city. Thursday was the first.
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 8:58 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 3:17 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The body of a 22-year-old man found Friday morning in a Cedar Rapids park marks the second homicide of the year in the city. Thursday was the first.

A bus driver saw the body at Cedar Valley Park, on Blakely Boulevard Southeast Friday morning around 7 am.

The man who died is Kavon Johnson. Police said he had at least one gunshot wound.

They believe whoever killed him knew and targeted the victim. We know he was 22 years old and his body was in the parking lot of the Cedar Valley park in an area of town known as Rompot.

We spoke with the Cedar Rapids Police chief and asked his response to two homicides in just 24 hours. Thursday’s also involved gun violence, although we don’t know if they were connected.

He said through his experience gun violence is often a result of engaging in risky behavior.

“Let me be clear. I hold those who pull the trigger 100 percent responsible for taking these lives. However individuals have got to cease engaging in risky behavior,” said Chief Wayne Jerman. “It’s such a senseless act. A 19 and a 22 year old killed. And they haven’t really begun to live yet. It’s just senseless and totally unacceptable and we need to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. And that’s what we’re committed to do.”

Chief Jerman added they’re asking the public if they have any information to come forward and work with the police.

Cedar Rapids Community School District also confirmed Friday afternoon... it was one of their bus drivers who spotted the body on his way to school. The district said counselling services are being offered to students and staff who witnessed the incident.

We also spoke to a resident of the neighborhood who’s lived in the area for 47 years.

”It’s heart wrenching. It’s freaked me out. Just sitting here watching them go and measure and everything. Yeah, it’s. Not for our park. We want better for our park,” said Melody Boots.

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