Public Safety

Third suspect arrested in connection with shooting death at Cedar Rapids Kum & Go

CEDAR RAPIDS — Police have arrested a third suspect in the death of Reginald Ward, who was shot and killed in October at a Cedar Rapids gas station.

Investigators arrested Kiara Kathy La Shae Morrise, 21, of Cedar Rapids, on a warrant charging her with accessory after the fact.

Morrise helped shooting suspect Todd R. Jenkins — who faces a charge of murder in Ward’s death — evade apprehension knowing Jenkins had shot and killed Ward, according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint states Morrise met Jenkins, 24, multiple times after refusing to cooperate with police when they attempted to question her.

Police were called to Kum & Go, 3132 First Ave. NE, just before 8 a.m. Oct. 30, 2019, where they found Ward, 27, had been shot. He was taken to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital, where he later was pronounced dead.

Police identified Jenkins as a suspect and asked the U.S. Marshals Service to help locate him.

After the shooting, investigators said, Jenkins fled to Davenport with the help of Dawn Louise Benavidez, 47, of Davenport, who also faces a charge of accessory after the fact.

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Police believe Benavidez and another person went to Muscatine to help Jenkins drive back to Davenport and then helped conceal his whereabouts.

Morrise and Jenkins were found together last month at a hotel in Aurora, Ill., police said. Jenkins attempted to flee out a second-story window, but was quickly taken into custody.

Morrise turned herself in to law enforcement in Illinois this week, and Benavidez was arrested April 15 in Davenport.

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

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