Public Safety

Person of interest in smoke shop shooting in SW Cedar Rapids charged as accessory

Alexandra Lanee Nicole Smith
Alexandra Lanee Nicole Smith

CEDAR RAPIDS — Police arrested a 24-year-old woman over the weekend who initially was named a person of interest in the smoke shop shooting that killed Royal Abram and Matrell Johnson, both 18, on May 18.

Alexandra L. Smith, of Cedar Rapids, faces a charge of accessory after the fact, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint, filed last week, said Andre Richardson, 26, the man accused of the shooting, was in the front seat of a vehicle driven by Smith when an SUV carrying Johnson and Abram pulled into the smoke shop parking lot at 70 Kirkwood Ct. SW.

The SUV also was carrying two 19-year-olds, Booker McKinney and Kayla Panos-Blackcloud. They were in the vehicle’s front seats and were gravely wounded in the shooting.

“Security video from the store showed that Andre Richardson was the shooter and that he was a passenger in a vehicle driven by Alexandra Smith,” the complaint against Smith states.

“The video showed Richardson emerge from the Smith vehicle and discharge his handgun at the occupants of the Panos-Blackcloud vehicle. Richardson then returned to the Smith vehicle, and she sped from the scene.”

According to the complaint filed against Richardson in June, the smoke shop’s video surveillance showed Smith’s vehicle arrive in the parking lot “just minutes before” Panos-Blackcloud’s SUV pulled in. As Panos-Blackcloud parked her SUV, the complaint states, Richardson jumped out of Smith’s vehicle and “fired a series of shots with a .45-caliber handgun at close range at all the occupants.”

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The complaint states the video showed the gun jammed several times as Richardson repeatedly shot into the SUV, and each time he cleared the weapon and continued to fire.

After the shooting, the complaint states, “Smith permitted Richardson to use her credit card to purchase gas in Cedar Rapids and Urbandale.” Authorities said she also accompanied Richardson to Raytown, Mo., where she helped him buy clothes and the cellphone that was found in his possession when he was arrested June 24.

A warrant for Smith’s arrest was issued Aug. 27, and she was booked Monday into Linn County Jail. She is being held on a $5,000 cash bond.

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

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