Public Safety

Father of Malik Sheets hopes $10,000 reward will lead to son's killer

He believes party-goers may know who is responsible

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CEDAR RAPIDS — The heartbroken father of 20-year-old Malik Sheets said Wednesday he knows somebody who was at the June 18 party where his son was shot and killed has information that would lead to an arrest.

“By sheer humanity, they should step forward, but if that’s not enough, there is a reward,” Carlos Sheets told The Gazette. “We just want justice. He was somebody’s son, a brother and many people’s friend. Malik had so much to offer this world. We needed kids like him.”

Information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for his death could be eligible for a reward of more than $10,100, the Cedar Rapids Police Department announced Wednesday. Linn County Crime Stoppers received a donation of $7,600 in addition to the $2,500 initially offered through the nonprofit organization.

The donation came from a GoFundMe campaign that was established by the Friends and Family of Malik Sheets. The campaign started with an “In Memory of Malik Sheets” Facebook page.

Sheets said his funny, smart, caring son who loved to dance was an “outstanding citizen,” who graduated from Cedar Rapids Washington High School as a salutatorian with honors in math and science.

He was on the swim team, played football and ran track.

Malik was going to the University of Iowa and had recently switched his major to psychology. He wanted to help people, his father said.

Malik always looked out for his three brothers, his sister and two stepbrothers, along with other friends — many of whom Carlos Sheets didn’t know until they met at Malik’s memorial last month. They told him how much Malik helped them, whether it was protecting a vulnerably young man or helping sandbags to protect a home from flooding.

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Sheets said he knew his son wasn’t causing any trouble at the party that night. He saw Malik, who lived with him, earlier that night and knew he was going out with his buddies but didn’t know they were going to some parties.

He said he warned his son about being careful, reminding him COVID-19 was still a threat.

Sheets said he knows some of what happened on his son’s last night but declined to share details because of the ongoing police investigation. But from what he’s heard, he knows his son wasn’t at fault when a fight broke and shots were fired.

Malik Sheets was found just after 5 a.m. inside a residence in the 1000 block of Regent Avenue NE. He had at least one gunshot injury to his upper torso, police said.

He died a short time later at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital.

“I’m asking for any tip. ... You can call it in and remain anonymous,” Sheets said. “No matter how little or insignificant you think it is. Do the right thing. Step up.”

During this time, with the movements for racial injustice and equality going on, Sheets said people should be “up in arms” about violent behavior in the community.

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.

Sheets also wanted to thank the community, friends, neighbors and relatives who have helped and supported his family during this time.

TO HELP

Those with information regarding Malik Sheets’ death can call in a tip to Linn County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-CS-CRIME (1-800-272-7463) or text CRIMES (274637) and in the message or subject line type 5227 and your tip. Police ask that tipsters reference case #2020-08242.

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