Locals find body, gun on Southeast Side


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Police are investigating a suspicious death on the Southeast Side of town after witnesses said they found a man lying next to a gun in the hallway of Broadway Condominiums.

Officers arrived on scene at 1958 Broadway around 4:08 p.m. on Thursday responding to an unknown problem. Upon arrival, authorities reported they found a dead adult male in the hallway of the building.

Police have labeled the death as suspicious and are not releasing the name of the victim pending notification of the family.

Crime-scene tape encircled the three-story building and witnesses lingered late into the night on Thursday.

Authorities moved the body out of the building around 10:23 p.m.

Tiaunta Martin, who lives on the third floor of the building, said she was playing video games in her apartment when her sister came running up shouting “A man, a man.”

Martin and her brother-in-law Andrew Shepard then rushed downstairs to find a man lying on the hallway floor next to a gun, a screwdriver, and a “No Smoking” sign.

“I know CPR, but I didn’t want to go down there because I saw a gun,” Shepard said.

The man was shaking violently and his head was covered by a hood. The witnesses said they did not see a gunshot wound, blood, or the victim’s face. They also said they did not hear gunshots.

“We were looking out through the back window, he was breathing like he was taking his last breath, and then he died,” Martin said.

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A number of recent crimes has called attention to the Southeast Side. Police responded to gunshots on Aug. 5, and reportedly found a group of boys participating in a riot.

Samuel Omolaiye, a landlord in the building next to the crime scene, said the incident reinforces his desire to leave the neighborhood.

“I want to get out of here,” he said. “It’s not a safe place to live.”

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations is assisting the Iowa City police in the investigation. Police stayed on scene late into Thursday night and said they are pursuing several leads.

DI reporter Scott Raynor and Regina Zilbermints contributed to this report.

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