IOWA CITY

Iowa City police devoting more officers to multiple shots fired investigations

Iowa City police investigate a reported shooting near Mercer Park in Iowa City on the evening of June 13, 2019. (Lee Hermiston, The Gazette)
Iowa City police investigate a reported shooting near Mercer Park in Iowa City on the evening of June 13, 2019. (Lee Hermiston, The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Police Department is devoting more resources to investigating a spate of shots-fired incidents this month.

Police Sgt. Derek Frank said the department is bringing in more officers on overtime, and the department’s Street Crimes Action Team, which investigates violence and drug-related crimes, is focusing on the gun violence.

“Anytime we have a rise in the frequency of gunfire and shots-fired calls like this, it’s a concern,” Frank said.

“We’re devoting more resources. The patrol officers are certainly spending more time in the areas of interest ... and possible areas where the people of interest may be associated.”

In the past two weeks, officers responded to shots fired in the 1200 block of Baker Street on June 13, near Benton and Michael streets and Wayne Avenue and Arthur Street on June 17, in the 200 block of West Benton Street on Friday, and in the 1100 block of Hollywood Boulevard, also on Friday. .

Frank said the shots fired on Hollywood Boulevard are not believed to be connected to the other incidents.

“The rest of them, we’re certainly looking at them possibly being connected and having the same players,” Frank said.

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Delorian Banks, 23, of Iowa City, and Terrell T. Scott, 28, of Joliet, Ill., were arrested in connection with the Hollywood Boulevard incident.

On Friday, police said a 15-year-old boy was charged with reckless use of a firearm and intimidation with a dangerous weapon in connection with the June 13 shots-fired incident.

No other arrests have been made in connection with shots fired. However, an arrest Sunday in which two guns were recovered could have possible ties to the ongoing gun violence.

Officers pulled over a Jeep Wrangler in the area of Wayne Avenue and Arthur Street for driving with expired registration, according to a criminal complaint. Suspicious activity inside the vehicle prompted police to search it.

Police said one occupant — Anthony L. Hughes Jr., 18, of Iowa City — was wearing a fanny pack that held a number of. 40-caliber ammunition rounds. Inside a backpack found with another passenger were a .40-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and a .22-caliber Magnum revolver that had been reported stolen.

Hughes faces charges of trafficking in stolen weapons, a felony, and carrying weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Wayne Avenue and Arthur Street was the site of one previous shots-fired incident and is a short distance from the Baker Street incident. Additionally, Hughes’ address, 717 Giblin Dr., is in the vicinity of the Benton Street shots-fired incident.

“We are certainly looking at them being potentially involved in some of the other shooting incidents,” Frank said of Hughes and a juvenile also involved in Sunday night’s investigation.

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Frank said the ongoing violence appears to be the result of a dispute between two groups. Police don’t have any information at this time that would suggest either faction is associated with a criminal gang.

“People who associate with each other are not getting along,” Frank said. “I think that’s fair to say.”

As the investigations continue, police ask residents to report “anything that’s suspicious or worrisome to them,” Frank said.

“We encourage people to let us know,” he said. “We’d like to get ahead of this rather than deal with it after the fact.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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