© 2005 – 2018
Iowa Cold Cases
All Rights Reserved
If you'd like to reprint a post or case summary, please contact us with the name of the requested post/article. Thank you in advance!
Leroy “Boo” Gordon Jr. III, 21, was shot and killed outside a townhouse at 2104 Forest Ave. in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, November 7, 2013.
The neighborhood is located just a few blocks east of the Drake University campus.
Des Moines police responded to several reports of shots fired on 21st Street and Forest Avenue at around 6:30 p.m., and found Gordon, shot more than once with at least one bullet wound to the torso, lying on the sidewalk in front of a shattered glass door. Gordon was taken to Iowa Methodist Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Sgt. Jason Halifax with the Des Moines Police Department said several witnesses were taken to the station for interviews, and that at least one witness saw the entire incident.
Gordon’s murder was Des Moines’ 11th homicide in 2013.
A WHO-TV story that aired Nov. 7, 2013, said the area where the shooting took place was covered by a special enforcement team that disbanded at the end of summer. Sgt. Halifax said if shootings in the area spike, the team could be brought back.
“Typically speaking, things tend to slow down as the weather gets colder,” Sgt. Halifax told WHO-TV. “It’s been pretty quiet around Des Moines recently at least in terms of violent crime. That’s kind of holding to a pattern we typically see. Again if it does increase we certainly would evaluate and determine if we should bring that back into play.”
In a Des Moines Register article published Nov. 8, 2013, Des Moines Police Sgt. Steve Woody said Gordon had been visiting friends in the area. They were sitting in a car talking and eventually the friends went into a home in the 2100 block of Forest Avenue.
Woody said Gordon’s friends said they then heard gunshots, went outside and found him.
Sgt. Woody said witnesses were cooperating with police officers Thursday and detectives continued to investigate the case Friday morning.
Polk County Crime Stoppers also announced on Friday, Nov. 8, it would offer a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest in the homicide.
Police took two people in for questioning Friday afternoon after breaking up an alleged gang initiation at Griffin Park at 13th St. and College Ave., WHO-TV reported Friday.
On Nov. 9, 2013, Gordon’s former boss, Dixie Byers of Dixie’s Campus Cleaners, spoke to KCCI about Gordon.
Despite having no experience in the cleaning business, Byers said she took a chance on Gordon.
“If you wanted to see someone rocking and rolling all the time, here comes’ bouncing Leroy,” she told KCCI.
Byers said Gordon’s energy lit up a room, and that she was shocked to learn he’d been shot.
“I was so dumbfounded that I just couldn’t think about anything. No, that can’t be. How could he leave at 4:10, 4:15 and be shot at 6:30?” Byers told Channel 8 News.
Byers said drugs and alcohol were not part of Gordon’s life, and that she felt like a second mom to him. His co-workers were like aunts and sisters, she said.
“There’s no doubt that we were his family. You know what? You put your arm around Leroy and tell him he did anything good, and love him, he just melted with that,” Byers said in the interview.
At 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, more than 100 friends and family members gathered at the scene where Gordon was gunned down for a candlelight vigil to honor his memory.
“I’m standing here tonight honoring my son, Leroy Gordon Jr.,” said Ivone Gordon in a WHO-TV story that aired that evening. “Everyone that knew him knew that he was a great guy. Everyone loved him.”
Calvetta Williams said that hopefully Gordon’s death might be a wake-up call for somebody, and friend J. Sean Thompson spoke of losing such a close friend.
“I’m going to miss him. He was the only friend that I really had,” Thompson told WHO-TV. “Now I’ve got to go every day without him. And it’s hard.”
Earlier that day, Byers had surprised Gordon’s family with news that a funeral was willing to step forward to help with expenses.
“It was just truly a blessing because we didn’t know how we are going to make everything work out, so it means a lot to the family,” Gordon’s sister, Brandi Wilson, told KCCI-TV in a story also airing Nov. 11.
Byers said she’d been touched by Gordon’s work ethic at her dry cleaning store.
“I loved the young man,” Byers said in the KCCI interview.
Leroy “Boo” Gordon III was born to Ivone and Leroy Gordon, Jr. in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 14, 1992.
Leroy attended East High School and was employed at Campus Cleaners. He enjoyed basketball, music, shopping, video games and being with family and friends. Family members said he was always happy, full of life and energy.
He and his significant other, Takeya Hogan, were the parents of a son, Brayden “Bubbles” Gordon.
Leroy died on November 7, 2013.
Survivors included his mother and father, Ivone and Leroy Gordon; brothers, Derrick Wilson and Daejour White; son, Brayden Gordon; significant other, Takeya Hogan; sisters, Brandi and Stacey Wilson, Shabrina Sandoval and Angel Gordon; grandparents, Jessie Pearl Gordon, and Lula Mae Ramsey both of Meridian, Mississippi; aunts, Mary Moulds of Springfield, Illinois, Shirley (Willey) Trotter of Meridian, and Peggy Gordon of Bronx, New York; uncles, Charles Moulds of Meridian and Jerry (Pam) Gordon of Suisun, California and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Friday, November 15, 2013 at Iles Grandview Park Chapel, 3211 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines, with visitation held 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday prior to the service.
Leroy was buried at the Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.
Memorial contributions may be left at any Banker’s Trust location in Des Moines, in memory of Leroy.