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“People have information”, family, friends seek justice in Malik Sheets’ murder

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Malik Sheets

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) -- Another young life taken too soon, 20-year-old Malik Sheets' family, friends, and former high school swim coach are still pleading for answers almost a month after he died in Cedar Rapids.

Sheets was shot and killed back on June 18th in the 1000 Block of Regent Street Northeast after an early morning party.

Based on a preliminary police investigation there appeared to have been a large gathering at a home in the neighborhood, an argument began and shots were fired.

Randy Ironside, Sheets' former high school swim coach said he was devastated to learn it was Malik who was the victim.

"He always had a smile on his face. He was always laughing, he was always joking around," said Ironside.

He remembers Sheets fondly from high school swim practices. Sheets' had attended a practice as a Freshman, not going through with the season but vowed to return his sophomore year.

Malik Sheets in high school

Ironside said Sheets' did return and became one of the best leaders the team had seen.

"I mean, it wasn't a swim practice without him being there and having some funny comment or doing something goofy," said Ironside.

Sheets just finished his sophomore year at the University of Iowa. He settled on a psychology degree, Ironside said it was fitting for the thoughtful, caring young man.

"The possibilities of what he was going to be able to do with his life were limitless. I mean, from the robotics that he did in high school, to some of the outreach programs that he did, to the internships that he did. I mean it just showed that he wasn't your prototypical high school kid, he was matured well beyond his years," said Ironside.

In a Facebook memorial page started by Ironside, as a way to heal, grieve and share memories, people have shared the joy he brought to their lives.

Ironside said many people who spoke at his funeral called him their best friend.

"The stories and just seeing different sides of Malik that you may not have seen but he how he was with other people, is great and it's going to be a great way to remember him for years in the future," said Ironside.

A future Sheets won't get after someone took his life in the early morning hours outside a home in the 1000 block of Regent Street NE.

"What I have heard is that Malik wasn't at fault, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and was on the brutal end of a tragedy," said Ironside.

Sheets' murder marked the eighth in the city this year. However, his friends and family are determined not to let this go unsolved.

More than $7,000 was raised by those who knew him and the community to encourage someone, anyone to come forward with information that would lead to a conviction and bring closure.

"You can remain anonymous. There shouldn't be any reason, any loyalty to somebody else that prevents you from being a decent human. You need to share the information that you have," said Ironside, "You can remain anonymous, no one will ever know who you are. But we need to find the justice for Malik and the only way we're going to do that is if the people who were at the party and saw what happened come forward and let those tips be known."

Tips can remain anonymous through the Linn County Crime Stoppers tip line. With money also offered through crime stoppers the reward for information totals more than $10,000.

Cedar Rapids Police said there is an active and ongoing investigation into this case.

To submit a tip to Linn County Crime Stoppers, please call 1-800-CS-CRIME (1-800-272-7463) or text CRIMES (274637) and in the message/subject, type 5227 and your tip.  You can continue to trade information with an investigator.  Text STOP to opt out at any time.  Please reference case #2020-08242.

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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