116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Tommy Curry thought he was going to be meeting with a woman he had been texting with for months the night of April 28.
Instead, police said Curry was shot and killed by an Indiana man who had been posing as a woman.
Iowa City police announced Sunday that 29-year-old Renard Winfield Jr. of Gary, Ind., faces a first-degree murder charge for Curry’s death. He is in custody at the Johnson County Jail. While Winfield was identified being from Indiana, criminal court records show prior criminal incidents in Iowa City and elsewhere in Iowa.
According to the criminal complaint, officers responded to multiple 911 calls at the Meadow Lark Apartment Complex, 2400 Lakeside Dr., around 8 p.m. April 28. Curry, 31, of Iowa City, was found inside his vehicle, and police said he had been shot numerous times.
Curry later died of his wounds.
Witnesses told police they saw a man approach Curry’s vehicle and start shooting. A white SUV also was seen leaving the scene, police said.
Investigators reviewed Curry’s cellphone and found he had been exchanging text messages with someone since Jan. 23, 2021. The text messages showed Curry met the person associated with the phone number — who he believed to be a woman — on a dating website. Curry agreed to meet that person at the Meadow Lake Apartments on April 28.
Using the phone number and associated dating website, investigators were led to Winfield.
“The records indicated Winfield Jr. was posing as a female on the dating website,” the criminal complaint states. The act of posing as someone else online is known as “catfishing.”
Police said surveillance footage shows a white Dodge Journey driving away from the crime scene. That vehicle is registered to a relative of Winfield’s, police said.
Cellphone records also show that Winfield had been in the area of the shooting, police said.
Winfield’s cellphone was seized as part of the investigation, and police said screenshots of Curry’s dating profile were found on the phone.
Police also said they found a video of Winfield holding a handgun that is believed to be the same caliber of weapon used in the fatal shooting. Winfield was in possession of the gun the day before the homicide and a video also showed him with ammunition located at the crime scene, the criminal complaint states.
Winfield allegedly told police he had not been in Iowa City since March.
According to court documents, Winfield was the victim in a shooting investigation from June 2020. Court documents state on June 25, a woman who lived in the 1700 block of H Street had a man at her home.
Shortly after the man left, Winfield arrived at the woman’s residence.
Police said Winfield left the residence after a brief argument with the woman. A short time later, the woman heard what she thought were fireworks outside of her residence. Seconds later, Winfield came to her home and was suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.
As part of the investigation into that incident, a loaded pistol magazine was recovered from Winfield’s vehicle, according to court records.
First-degree murder is a Class A felony punishable by an automatic life sentence in Iowa.
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