Police identify man killed by possible self-inflicted gunshot wound following Iowa City robbery

Man was found inside North Liberty home Tuesday morning

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NORTH LIBERTY — Authorities say a man took his life Tuesday morning at a home in North Liberty hours after taking part in an Iowa City robbery that also involved two juvenile suspects.

North Liberty police identified the man Tuesday evening as Dairion C. Bradley, 21, of Cedar Rapids. Earlier in the day, Iowa City Police Lt. Zach Diersen said Bradley was a suspect in a robbery that had brought police to the North Liberty residence where Bradley shot himself.

Two juveniles also are in custody for their roles in the robbery, according to authorities.

Iowa City police said the robbery happened around 12:34 a.m. in the area of Center and Davenport streets in Iowa City. According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, Bradley, along with Samuel L. Wetmore, 16, of Iowa City, and Natasha N. Masterson, 17, of Cedar Rapids, set up a meeting set up a meeting with a male victim to discuss money Wetmore owed him.

According to the criminal complaints, Masterson got into the car with the victim and then Wetmore and Bradley pulled guns on the victim and demanded his belongings. Police said one of the suspects proceeded to pistol whip the victim, causing him to suffer an injury.

The victim fled the car and heard gun shots, police said. He was not hit. Police said the suspects then fled the scene in a white vehicle.

North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga said Iowa City police asked her officers to go to David Lee Court in North Liberty to check on a vehicle and suspect as part of their robbery investigation. A vehicle was located at David Lee Court, Venenga said.

Venenga said at about 5:10 a.m., officers made contact with the residents of 60 David Lee Court. Masterson and Wetmore were taken into custody as part of the robbery investigation.

As officers were standing in the doorway to the residence, they heard gunshots coming from inside the home. Venenga said the residents were evacuated and officers attempted to make contact with Bradley, who was still inside.

Police eventually requested assistance from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Special Emergency Response Team. Area schools also were notified about the incident around 7 a.m.

The Special Emergency Response Team entered the home at 7:42 a.m. and found a Bradley dead from a gunshot wound. Venenga said a witness told police the wound was self-inflicted. That was supported by visual evidence, North Liberty police said in a news release.

“However, the case will remain open until the autopsy is completed,” the news release said.

Police said there is no threat to the public.

A number of witnesses were detained for questioning, Venenga said.

Masterson and Wetmore both admitted to being involved in the robbery, police said. They each face a charge of first-degree robbery, a felony, and have been transported to the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center.

North Liberty police were assisted by the Iowa City and Coralville police departments, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, North Liberty Fire Department, the Johnson County Emergency Communication Center and the Johnson County Ambulance Service.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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