Iowa City Ped Mall shooting now case of murder after father of 2 dies
Charge against the accused gunman upgraded after death of shooting victim
IOWA CITY — A man badly injured last weekend in a shooting on the Pedestrian Mall has died, upping the charges against his accused assailant and leading police to take steps against any revenge.
Kaleek Asham Douglas Jones, 22, of Iowa City, died Tuesday after he and two others were shot early Sunday, according to Iowa City police.
Jones leaves two young children and a fiancee, his family said in a statement Wednesday.
“As a daddy he did it all — bottles, diapers, and playing Mr. Frog,” his family said. “Kaleek had a gift with children and they loved him.”
The statement said he talked of going back to school and opening his own restaurant.
“He was real and loyal, unwavering on his journey in life,” the family said. “His experiences during life will be the moments and treasures to be remembered … most of all, his love for all of that and his family. Kaleek made everyone and everything a little better by being in it.”
Lamar Cheyenne Wilson, 21, also of Iowa City, had one of his charges of attempted murder upgraded to first-degree murder as a result of the death, police said. Wilson also faces counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and attempted murder.
An accused accomplice, Donte Ronnel Taylor, 21, of Cedar Rapids, also remains in custody on charges of control of a firearm by a felon, trafficking in stolen weapons and carrying weapons.
Police said the shooting, which occurred on the Ped Mall as hundreds of young people were streaming outside as the downtown bars were closing, appeared to be the result of some sort of conflict between two groups.
According to criminal complaints, Wilson fired “several rounds at several other subjects.” An acquaintance told police that Wilson shot at the men over an “ongoing feud,” the complaints state.
Iowa City Police spokesman Sgt. Scott Gaarde said Wednesday that police won’t comment further on the nature of these groups or the subject of the ongoing feud.
“We’re still in the process of investigating the reason for what escalated to the confrontation,” Gaarde said.
Taylor was taken into custody in the Sheraton Hotel parking ramp after he tried to run from officers, police said. Officers said they found a 9 mm handgun in his possession.
Taylor admitted being present during the shooting, police said. He also told officers he stole the gun two months ago.
Gaarde said officers have been in contact with “a lot of individuals involved” and continue to be active to make sure the shooting doesn’t escalate.
Iowa City police also have been sharing information with Cedar Rapids police in hopes of preventing any further incidents, Gaarde said.
The Iowa City Downtown District also has been in close contact with the police department, said Executive Director Nancy Bird. She said downtown’s plans for this weekend’s home football game season opener are going “full steam ahead.”
“It’s an outlier of an incident, and downtown Iowa City continues to be a very safe place to be,” Bird said.
The downtown district has made a push in recent years to make the area both student driven and family-friendly, and policies such as the appointment of a downtown “nighttime mayor” helps businesses adapt to both dynamics, Bird said.
To continue this movement, Bird said the district is reviewing safety policies and continuing discussions with downtown businesses.
“It’s a discussion we’ll have going forward,” Bird said.
The Iowa City Police Department continues to seek the public’s assistance in the ongoing investigation. Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to contact authorities at (319) 356-5276.
Lee Hermiston of The Gazette contributed to this report.