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Neighbor: Iowa City shooting victim not resident

Vanessa Miller, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa –

A man killed Thursday evening during an undercover drug investigation outside Iowa City limits did not live in the mobile home park where he died, according to an official with the property management company that oversees Breckenridge Estates.

“The person who passed away is not a tenant of ours,” said a property management official and neighbor who didn’t want to give his name. “No one knows who he was. We’re just glad our tenants are safe and no kids were hurt.”

He and another neighbor told The Gazette that they heard a rapid succession of gunshots just before 7 p.m. at the Breckenridge Estate mobile home park at 4494 Taft Ave. SE. They both reported hearing a commotion and seeing a blur of people and cars fly by.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation reported the incident started during an undercover drug investigation involving the Johnson County Drug Task Force, including two officers from the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement. They were conducting an operation at trailer 7C in the mobile home park, and the DCI reported that a fight broke out shortly before the shots were fired.

One man died at the scene, and another suspect was injured during the incident, which is being called an “officer-involved” shooting, according to the DCI. No officers were injured during the incident, and the DCI has not released names of the officers involved or the shooting victims.

Neighbors who spoke with The Gazette said they heard two to three gunshots at different pitches, indicating to them that different guns were being fired. They both saw a body behind a mobile home that was across the street from the unit under investigation, and one person said he saw officers remove a handgun from an area near the body.

Investigators spent the night combing the scene for evidence – a trail of blood is marked with orange spray paint along Taft Avenue near the mobile home park. Witnesses said they saw one man jump in a getaway vehicle, but it’s unknown how many suspects were involved and how many people might face charges.

Authorities have said there is no ongoing threat to the community.

Brad Martin, who lives in the Breckenridge Estates mobile home park, said he showed up shortly after the shooting and was told the victim was dead. He said teenagers reported seeing “people running through backyards.”

Martin’s wife, Tamonvan Martin, said she has noticed a lot of people coming and going from the mobile home over the past six months, but she never talked to the home’s residents.

“So many people would stop by,” she said. “They were always in and out and in and out.”

Tamonvan Martin said she has lived in the park for eight years and has always felt safe.

“But I’m afraid,” she said.

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