Cedar Rapids sees spike in shots fired, many are related
Written by Michelle Corless, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -
Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman says investigators believe there's a group of around a dozen people who are responsible for most -- if not all -- of the city's unsolved shots fired cases, but they need witnesses to step up in order to close these cases.
Kevin Gilmore is visiting his brother in Cedar Rapids. Tuesday morning, he was nearly shot when bullets came through the home.
"I woke up to my little brother yelling, 'Is you all right? Is you all right? Is you hit?'" said Gilmore.
It's one of 28 shots fired calls in the city so far this year. Last year at the end of April, the city had seen 11.
"It's the innocent members of our community who are at risk of suffering injury or death from these incidents, these senseless incidents, of gun violence that are occurring here in Cedar Rapids," said Jerman.
Tuesday, Jerman said officers are dedicated to keeping the city safe. They've added overtime details, put more officers on the streets, and investigators have been shifted to work these more serious cases.
"Investigators believe that many, if not all of these shootings, are related," said Jerman.
There have only been three arrests in shooting cases, though two have been closed due to the suspect committing suicide.
"We can't make a charge stick without evidence, and evidence comes from witnesses," said Jerry Vander Sanden, Linn County Attorney.
Standing unified, shoulder to shoulder, city leaders and residents say the violence needs to stop before someone else is killed or injured.
"We're done," said Dawn Stevens, who lives in Cedar Rapids. "We're not going to keep doing this. It's not acceptable. There's too much good. We can't let the bad ruin everything."
Police say your tips can remain anonymous. If you have information, even the smallest piece, it could help the investigation.
Contact the Cedar Rapids Police Department at (319) 286-5491 or Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-CRIME (272-7463). You can also send text message to CRIMES (274637) and in the subject, type 5227 and then your tip.
Monday, September 1 2014 2:01 PM EDT2014-09-01 18:01:07 GMT
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