Public Safety

2 teens face charges in slaying of Malik Sheets

Arrests come exactly 3 months after University of Iowa student was shot at a Cedar Rapids party

CEDAR RAPIDS — Two teens have been arrested in the shooting death of 20-year-old Malik Sheets, who was gunned down at a party in northeast Cedar Rapids exactly three months ago.

Christian D. Emedi, 17, and Marshawn L. Jefferies, 16, face charges of first-degree murder and obstructing prosecution, according to police.

Emedi is at the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center on unrelated charges and was served with charges Friday in slaying of Sheets, police said.

Jefferies was taken into custody in Davenport and transported to the Linn County Juvenile Detention Center.

Police found Sheets badly injured just after 5 a.m. June 18 inside a home at 1058 Regent Ave. NE, the site of a large party. He had at least one gunshot injury to his upper torso and died a short time later at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital.

Investigators learned Sheets and others were arguing when two people — identified as Emedi and Jeffries — produced handguns, according to the criminal complaint.

Emedi fired several shots at Sheets and, after Sheets fell to the floor, Jeffries fired several more shots at Sheets, the complaint states.

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A 24-year old male drove Emedi, Jeffries and the 17-year old girlfriend of one of them to a residence in North Liberty where they took showers, changed clothing and arranged to discard the clothing they were wearing at the party, according to the complaint.

Emedi, Jeffries and the 24-year-old male were later stopped in Gurnee, Ill., where they initially denied being at the party. They later admitted they were there when Sheets was shot but denied shooting him, police said.

Police also interviewed the 17-year-old girlfriend, who obstructed officers’ efforts to locate evidence and Emedi and Jeffries, according to the criminal complaint.

Sheets’ father, who spoke to The Gazette about a month after his son was killed, said he knew his son wasn’t causing trouble at the party that night.

A reward fund of more than $10,100 for information leading to an arrest in Sheets’ death was established in July after Linn County Crime Stoppers received a donation of $7,600 in addition to the $2,500 initially offered through the nonprofit.

The donation came from a GoFundMe campaign established by the Friends and Family of Malik Sheets, police said.

Public safety spokesperson Greg Buelow said Friday’s arrests did not come with the promise of reward money.

“There were no tips that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects,” he said. “This was persistent, focused work of investigators with several individuals that were not cooperative.”

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Carlos Sheets, Malik’s father, described his son as a funny, smart and caring young man who loved to dance and was an “outstanding citizen.”

Sheets graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington High School as a salutatorian with honors in math and science, Sheets said. He was on the swim team, played football and ran track and was attending the University of Iowa, where he had recently switched his major to psychology.

He wanted to help people, his father said.

Malik’s slaying, he said, was “a senseless act.”

“When I hear about these other shootings that are going on, the little bit of my heart that I have left keeps breaking,” Sheets said.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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