116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Three days after gunfire erupted at a birthday party in a Cedar Rapids hotel and left six people wounded, witnesses are mum and victims aren’t helping investigators identify who shot them - and several of them even have disconnected phones, Police Chief Wayne Jerman told reporters Monday.
“Until we can make personal contact” with the victims, an investigation cannot move forward, Jerman said during a news conference.
Police were called about 10:30 p.m. Friday to a report of shots being fired at the Ramada by Wyndham hotel at 525 33rd Ave. SW. There, police found three people who had been injured - one of them seriously - and the victims were taken to hospitals. Another three people, including a teenage boy, also were wounded and taken to the hospital by personal vehicles.
While there has been a “modest decrease” in the number of shootings in Cedar Rapids so far this year, Jerman said this is the first time since he was hired as chief in 2012 that he has seen six people injured in just one incident.
The shooting broke out during a birthday party in a hotel conference room, authorities said. Police were unsure if there was one assailant or more.
It’s “safe to assume” the shooter or shooters were attending the event and knew the victims, although no one has yet given a description, Jerman said.
“Right now there are people out on the street who should not be in our community,” the chief said.
Investigators are attempting to download surveillance video from the Ramada, but have encountered technical difficulties. Jerman said he expects to have the evidence by Tuesday at the latest.
Most of the shooing victims have been discharged from the hospital, Jerman said. It’s “very concerning” that one of the victims — a 13-year-old boy — has not yet spoken with police about the incident, Jerman said. Police are trying to contact his parents.
The shooting is similar to other gun violence in Cedar Rapids that began with a disagreement and “individuals choose to settle their differences with firearms,” Jerman said. “It’s senseless and cannot continue,” he said.
An assailant in Friday’s shooting could face charges of going armed with intent and attempted murder. It remains to be seen if the victims or witnesses who are uncooperative in the investigation might be charged with interference with official acts, Jerman said.
“We really need people to come forward,” Jerman said.
Police asked anyone who attended the party or has information that could help identify the assailant or assailants to call the Cedar Rapids Police Department at 319-286-5491.
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