Man killed by Cedar Rapids police identified; woman hospitalized with multiple stab wounds

Officers responded to domestic disturbance; incident under investigation

The scene of Monday night’s officer-involved shooting in Cedar Rapids. (Lee Hermiston/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A woman is recovering from multiple stab wounds and the man who allegedly attacked her is dead after an officer-involved shooting Monday night in Cedar Rapids.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Markell L. Bivins at the Valley High Apartments, 1735 Edgewood Road NW. Authorities believe Bivins stabbed 25-year-old Raelynn J. Finn — a woman he has children with and he was once barred from contacting following previous allegations of an assault.

Many of the details of the incident remain under investigation. The two Cedar Rapids police officers involved in the shooting have not been named. They have been placed on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy, according to Cedar Rapids public safety spokesmen Greg Buelow.

Buelow and officials from the Iowa Department of Public Safety said officers were called to the apartments around 9:30 p.m. Monday. Authorities said Finn was transported to a hospital with multiple stab wounds, which police believe she suffered at the hands of Bivins. She underwent surgery and is expected to live, police said.

Bivins was shot during the incident and died of his injuries, police said.

What the officers encountered when they arrived at the apartment and whether Bivins was armed is not being released at this time

“I’m not going to release any of that information until we interview the officers,” said Rick Rahn, special agent in charge for the Division of Criminal Investigations.

Rahn said the DCI — which typically investigates officer-involved shootings — generally gives officers two sleep cycles before conducting interviews. He was not certain Tuesday afternoon if those interviews have been scheduled.

“Certainly, we’ll get them done as quickly as we can and get the information out as soon as we can,” Rahn said.

Bivins was accused of punching Finn in the face last November, resulting in “visible injuries,” according to trial information accusing him of assault causing bodily injury and obstruction of emergency communications. As a result of those accusations, a no contact order was issued on Nov. 17, 2015.

However, those charges were dismissed on Aug. 6 due to “lack of cooperation by a necessary State witness,” according to court documents. The no contact order had been canceled the month before, court records show.

Bivins was also arrested for possession of marijuana on July 13 and pleaded guilty on Aug. 29. He was sentenced to two days in jail, but given credit for two days already served.

Finn also sought child support from Bivins earlier this summer, court documents show.

This is the fourth officer-involved shooting in the city in the last several years.

• Then 17-year-old Matthew T. Johnson, of Cedar Rapids, was shot by an officer on Sept. 21, 2013, at Advance Auto Parts. Authorities said Johnson had been seen kicking a car in the parking lot and then forced his way into the business with the intent to commit a burglary or theft. He was shot by a responding Cedar Rapids police officer.

Kyle Orth, 28, was shot by police on March 29, 2015, after a late night, high speed chase. Police fired at Orth after he hit a utility pole in an alley and then accelerated toward two police officers. Orth later admitted to being intoxicated during the incident and was sentenced to a five-year suspended prison sentence, three years of probation and six months in jail.

• On Oct. 20, 2015, police fatally shot 21-year-old Jonathan T. Gossman. Authorities said police stopped the vehicle Gossman was in as part of a narcotics investigation. He ran from police and fired a gun at them and the officers returned fire, killing him.

In each instance, the officer-involved shooting was found to be justified by the Linn County Attorney’s Office.