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Twenty-two-year-old Dominique Mosby was shot in the head on Friday, June 26, 2009 as he sat outside on an apartment deck playing dice for money with a group of men.
According to witnesses, Mosby and several other men were playing dice on the patio of Cedarwood Hills apartment number 105 in Cedar Rapids at 2030 Glass Rd. NE when an unknown assailant walked up to Mosby and shot him several times. The shooter then walked away.
Police responded to shots fired at the complex at approximately 6:35 p.m., where they found Mosby lying on the ground outside the ground floor apartment. Emergency medical technicians performed CPR on Mosby before taking him to St. Luke’s Hospital, where the victim died.
Despite several who’d witnessed the crime, no one wanted to talk; it appeared Mosby knew his killer and the slaying likely was gang-related.
In a Cedar Rapids Gazette article published June 27, 2009, one man living near the complex said he’d speak only if his name wasn’t used because he feared for his family’s safety. He’d been one of the first to call 911 after hearing five or six gunshots.
The neighbor told the Gazette he’d looked out his window and saw someone he thought was the shooter — a man wearing a long black shirt — walking alone and away from the scene. He said he also saw a group of men in white shirts walking in a different direction, across the 32nd Street NE bridge over Interstate 380.
Others provided officers with conflicting reports when describing the shooter.
Another unnamed witness told police he was watching the group of men playing dice when he saw a black man pacing up and down Glass Road near the curb. The witness described the man as having dreadlocks and wearing long blue jean shorts, a white T-shirt and white shoes.
Then, the witness said, he saw a green Lincoln Continental headed west on Glass Road pull into Timber Valley Court, a cul-de-sac off Glass Road. The Gazette reports the witness as also conveying the following information:
Two men got out of the Lincoln Continental and walked into a wooded area south of [apartment] building 2030 and handed the suspect a plastic bag.
The suspect then walked across the street and up the hill toward the back of the apartments and pulled a gun out of the bag and started shooting in the direction of the men playing dice.
When officers arrived they found Mosby, who’d been shot multiple times, near the back patio of No. 105. Shell casings and pools of blood were found next to Mosby’s body and there also was a torn T-shirt on a patio chair nearby.
Another witness told officers Mosby’s shirt was torn and that he’d taken it off just before the shooting took place.
According to a Gazette article dated July 8, 2009, a Cedarwood Hills employee told police she witnessed a disturbance earlier in the day [of the shooting] between buildings 2010 and 2030. She said she saw a man get out of a blue Ford Taurus and start yelling profanities at two other men, saying something was “going down today.”
Police estimate that as many as nine individuals were present and saw Mosby get shot.
Once police established a perimeter, officers searched the area with others stationed along the bridge and the J Avenue NE bike trail. A K-9 unit searched through the woods across the street but did not locate the killer.
And although Cedar Rapids Police Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said the shooting did not appear to be a random act of violence, most area residents remained mum about what they’d seen or heard.
Sgt. Matt Welsh called it “mind-boggling” that more witnesses would not help police.
Cedarwood Hills property manager Jess Hebdon said Mosby had not been living at the apartment complex.
“The victim’s not a tenant,” Hebdon told the Gazette in a story published June 29. “I’ve never heard his name before.”
Police said Mosby’s family lived in Chicago but hadn’t seen him for a couple of weeks.
Authorities had been in previous contact with Mosby a few years earlier when the then-20-year-old had visited eastern Iowa. The Gazette reported that Linn County had a warrant for Mosby’s arrest for failure to appear for possession of a controlled substance and interference with official acts related to a September 2006 incident. A few days later, while in Johnson County, the underaged Mosby had been charged with consumption of alcohol.
Tenants who lived near the apartment where Mosby was shot said they weren’t even sure who lived at apartment number 105, and Hebdon wouldn’t release any information about the tenant except to say he believed the individual “had left town.”
A man living in a nearby apartment explained the reasoning behind the cloak-and-dagger tight-lipped residents:
“When there’s a group of six or seven people sitting there with stacks of money like this, playing dice…it’s not the kind of people you want to get mixed up with.”
In an effort to find answers to many unanswered questions, the Gazette reached out to readers with the following six questions:
One reader’s anger was palpable. (Note: comments reprinted below have not been edited from how they appeared in the Gazette.) His comment read:
Who ever did this know who the f— they are. I hope they die a trillion deaths with their cowardly, broke, bummy, dirty, stanky, nasty, trifelin’ ass. (sentence edited out) And I don’t give a f— who read this. I don’t understand how his peeps let this go down like this. The good always die young and live short lives. Dammnnnn this s— hurt like hell to my heart my homie gone like that in the midst of petty s—. Treated my homie like he was petty, n—-. But they don’t know what they did to these streets. Dude gone get it one way or another. And my best bet would say another way cause my n—– don’t trick.
In another comment, the anonymous writer’s heartfelt grief also rose to the surface. They wrote:
I Only knew Him For A Short Period Of Time And At The News Of His Death It Sent Sadness Deep In My Heart I Cant Describe.I Cant Believe How Bad It Hurt, Its Like I Knew You Our Whole Lives. They Do Say The Good Die Way Before Their Time.How F— Up His It To Die N A World Unknown 2 You. I Felt The Goodness Inside You…I Will Always Remember You And Your Kind Heart…R.I.P…*Dominique*
Six weeks after Mosby’s murder, the Gazette released more details in an article published August 7, 2009. The paper reported:
According to search warrants filed in Linn County District Court, a witness told police the man who shot Mosby was handed a plastic bag containing a gun by two other men moments before the shooting. The witness said the suspect was handed the bag in a wooded area along Glass Road NE before he walked across the street, approached the group of men playing dice and started shooting in their direction.
Police have said at least five shots were fired, and Mosby was struck by more than one. Mosby was not a tenant at the apartment complex.
The suspect was described as a black male with dreadlocks wearing a white T-shirt, long blue jean shorts and white shoes, according to the search warrant.
Dominique Mosby was born July 20, 1986.
Anyone with information about Dominique Mosby’s unsolved murder is asked to call 1-800-CR-CRIME or the Cedar Rapids Police Department’s Investigative Division at (319) 286-5400.
News Report from KCRG TV-9 Cedar Rapids – Airdate June 26, 2009