Public Safety

Homeowner shoots intruder after bizarre night in Palo, authorities say

Deputies say multiple residents told of man trying to break in

The Linn County Sheriff's Office in southwest Cedar Rapids. Photo taken Thursday, March 17, 2005.
The Linn County Sheriff’s Office in southwest Cedar Rapids. Photo taken Thursday, March 17, 2005.

First it was the glass breaking out of a window in the child’s bedroom. Then a flowerpot came crashing through a pane in the front door.

An intruder stepped over the broken shards of the door and — at nearly 3 a.m. — into the house on Palo’s Ridgeview Drive.

Authorities said that is when homeowner Jordan Schulte armed himself with a 9 mm pistol and went to investigate.

Threatened by the intruder inside his house, Schulte fired one shot, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics tried to revive the intruder — later identified as Kevin Kawanzel Harris, 40, of Cedar Rapids — but he died just after 3 a.m. in the home’s entry way.

On Monday afternoon, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office described in detail the bizarre path that Harris had cut through the neighborhood early that morning, moments before his death.

Court records show Harris had an extensive criminal history and served time in prison. At the time of his death, he was facing a felony charge of domestic abuse assault, and had been charged with repeatedly violating a protective order in the case. He was scheduled for a Sept. 21 trial in Linn County District Court.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the brazen evening in the Palo neighborhood began before 2:55 a.m. Monday.

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That’s when a Buick Encore driven by Harris ran into a Ford F-150 parked on the grass near the intersection of Ridgeview Drive and Timber Road, authorities said. The crash pushed the pickup into the back of a Ford Fusion parked in a driveway in the 4600 block of Timber Road.

And just about that time, neighbors started calling authorities to report a man was trying to break into their homes.

Home surveillance video recorded in the minutes leading up to the wreck and break-in calls showed Harris at 2:47 a.m. approaching the front door of a home in the 4500 block of Timber Road, and then continuing east down the road, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Six minutes later — at 2:53 — another home surveillance system spotted Harris in the 2700 block of Sage Drive, breaking windows out near the front door of a home, according to authorities. Deputies said Harris fled when the homeowner confronted him over the home’s intercom system.

The Sheriff’s Office said two more residents called 911 — one from the 2700 block of Sage Drive and the other from the 2700 block of Ridgeview Drive — and reported someone had attempted to enter their homes.

Several residents in the area declined to comment when reached by a reporter Monday.

At 3:02 a.m., seven minutes after the first calls, 911 dispatchers took a call from a woman in the 2700 block of Ridgeview Drive saying her husband — Jordan Schulte — had shot an intruder, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The woman told authorities the intruder broke into their home and threatened them.

Deputies arrived at the home one minute later and found Harris with a gunshot wound to the chest. They began CPR, and medical personnel from the Palo Fire Department and Hiawatha Ambulance Service arrived. Harris was pronounced dead at 3:16 a.m.

Schulte could not be reached Monday by The Gazette for comment.

Harris’s body was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Ankeny, where an autopsy will be done.

The Sheriff’s Office said its investigation is ongoing and once completed will be forwarded to the Linn County Attorney’s Office for review.

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

Kat Russell and Gage Miskimen of The Gazette contributed.

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