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On Thursday, March 3, 2011, Cyrus James “C.J.” Hicks, 24, became Des Moines’ first 2011 homicide when he was shot in the head and killed outside an apartment building near 29th Street and Boston Avenue.
Two 911 calls about a shooting prompted police to be dispatched just after midnight.
Officers found Hicks on a sidewalk between two buildings at the Oakview Terrace Apartments on the city’s northwest side.
In June 2011 a Polk County District Court judge issued a material witness warrant for Willie Lee Hall, 25, of Des Moines, in connection with Hicks’ murder.
The Des Moines Police Facebook page announced on June 24, 2011, they were seeking Hall as a material witness in Hicks’ homicide. Three days later on June 27, police said detectives had located and interviewed Hall and no longer considered him wanted.
According to a Des Moines Register article dated June 24, 2011, Hall had been in and out of Iowa prisons since 2005 on drug-related charges and probation violations. Iowa Department of Corrections records showed Hall was last released from Iowa prison in 2009, the Register said.
The Register said that according to state records, Hicks had his own brushes with the law dating back to when Hicks was at least 16. Police records showed that just one month before Hicks was killed, his grandmother accused him of stealing two rifles, a shotgun and jewelry from her home.
A second man sought as a material witness — 25-year-old Marcell N. Wiggins — was taken into custody without incident at 677 16th St. at 3:57 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2011, said Des Moines police spokesman Sgt. Chris Scott in a Des Moines Register story dated July 6, 2011.
Scott said Wiggins was taken to Des Moines police headquarters for interview with detectives.
To date, no one has been charged in Cyrus Hicks’ murder.
Cyrus James “CJ” Hicks, was born April 20, 1986, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Cy Hicks and Theresa Hanrahan.
He died in Des Moines from a gunshot wound to the head on Thursday, March 3, 2011. He was 24 years old.
CJ was survived by his mother, Theresa (Kevin) Purdy; father, Cy Hicks; sisters, Shelby, Siera, and Jolene; grandmother, Linnie Hanrahan; companion, Natascha Grant; and grandparents, Don and Peggy Purdy; as well as a host of other family and beloved friends.
He was preceded in death by his brothers, Brennan and Kirby; grandparents, Jim Hanrahan, Bob and Irene Hicks.
The family greeted visitors from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 6, 2011, at Hamilton’s Funeral Home near Highland Memory Gardens, 121 NW 60th Avenue, Des Moines. A private burial occurred at a later date in Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Des Moines.
Anyone with information about Cyrus Hicks’ unsolved murder is asked to contact the Des Moines Police Department Detective Bureau at (515) 283-4864 or Polk County Crime Stoppers at (515) 223-1400.