Iowa City police officers arrest and escort two individuals into cruisers outside Hotel Vetro early Sunday, Aug. 27. The police department responded to reports of shots fired downtown around 1:30 a.m. (Ben Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Hawk Alert: Shots fired near Sheraton Hotel

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UPDATE: Police say Ped Mall shooting was not a random act

Officials sent a Hawk Alert at 1:35 a.m. Aug. 27 to warn the community of gunshots fired on the Pedestrian Mall.

The brief alert said “Shots fired near the Sheraton Hotel avoid the area.”

The University of Iowa Public Safety Department said there was no further information immediately available; the Iowa City police have taken the lead in the investigation. The Iowa City police could not be immediately reached for comment.

Daily Iowan staffers witnessed the scene near the walkway by Martinis and saw numerous people in handcuffs.

At least one North Liberty police car was also on the scene.

The UI Public Safety defines Hawk Alerts as: “… triggered by an event that is currently occurring on or imminently threatening the UI campus. UI [Public Safety] initiates Hawk Alerts for any significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on the campus involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students and employees.”

 

UPDATE — Second Hawk Alert issued

At 2:47 a.m. on Aug. 27, a second Hawk Alert was released: “Robbery at gunpoint on E. Market. Two suspects last seen north on Lucas. Avoid the area.”

At this time, the UI police do not believe the two events are related. The investigations for both incidents are ongoing.

UPDATE — 4:20 a.m.

Three gunshot victims were transported to an area hospital for treatment after the Ped Mall incident, a city of Iowa City press release said.

None of the victims (ages 22, 26, and 27) are UI students, the release said. The names and conditions are not being released at the time.

A “number of individuals” are being interviewed by the Iowa City police to determine if they had any role in the incident, according to the release. No arrests have been made.

The release said Iowa City police officers who were patrolling the Ped Mall heard shots fired in the area of College and Dubuque Streets at 1:29 a.m.

Iowa City detectives are on the scene and are still investigating. A press conference will be held at 5:30 a.m. at Clinton and College Streets.

Other updates from the UI can be found here: emergency.uiowa.edu.

UPDATE — 11:35 a.m.

Two men have been charged in the shooting that occurred in the Pedestrian Mall early Aug. 27.

Lamar Wilson, 23, 2220 Arizona St., was charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, according to the arrest affidavit.

Wilson reportedly admitted to firing several rounds at other people, the affidavit said, and an acquaintance of Wilson’s told authorities that Wilson shot three people over an ongoing feud. In a press conference at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, Iowa City police Capt. Troy Kelsay said the shooter and victims appeared to from two different groups of people, one group from Iowa City and another from out of town.

“The animosity and gunshots were between those two groups; it was not something that occurred randomly on the Ped Mall,” Kelsay said at the press conference.

Kelsay said the feud was not known to be related to gang violence. However, he said, both the victims and the two men charged in the incident are known from past incidents by the Iowa City police and the Cedar Rapids police.

“They’re known to one another; even if the individuals don’t necessarily know one another, the groups do,” Kelsay said.

Donte Taylor, 21, Cedar Rapids, was charged with dominion/control of a firearm/offensive weapon, possession or carrying of dangerous weapons, and first offense trafficking in stolen weapons, according to the arrest affidavit. Officers stopped Taylor from fleeing the scene, the affidavit said. He was reportedly found in possession of a Taurus 9-mm handgun, which he told officers he stole, and he reportedly admitted to being present during the shooting, the affidavit said.

Kelsay said officers recovered several firearms during their investigations from both groups involved in the incident.

This post will be updated as new information becomes available.

— by Grace Pateras

Police cars are parked near the Sheraton Hotel early Aug. 27 morning. A Hawk Alert was sent to notify the community. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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