UPDATE: Iowa City police have obtained an arrest warrant for a suspect in Thursday night’s fatal shooting of 30-year-old Donell Derrell Lindsey in west Iowa City.
Brandon D. Brown, 27, is wanted on a $1 million warrant on suspicion of first-degree murder after police said witnesses told them that Brown asked Lindsey to walk down the street with him on Thursday night. Brown is accused of producing a handgun and shooting Lindsey multiple times at relatively close range, according to Iowa City police.
Some of the bullets hit Lindsey in the chest, police reported, and Brown was last seen running from the area. Lindsey was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he died from his wounds, police reported.
One of the witnesses, an acquaintance of Brown, is described as a black male, about five feet, nine inches tall, weighing 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Other witnesses also positively identified Brown as a shooter in a photo lineup.
Police do not know Brown’s current address, but he was last known to be living in Calumet City and Harvey, Ill.
Brown’s whereabouts are unknown, and police say he might have fled the area to avoid being arrested. Anyone with information can call Iowa City police at 319-356-5276.
Brown is considered armed and dangerous.
Iowa City Area CrimeStoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to Brown’s arrest. Anyone with information also can call CrimeStoppers at 319-358-8477. All calls are held in confidence and anonymity is guaranteed.
He heard gunshots. And Tori Cleggett ran out of his apartment to find his friend, Donnelle Derrell Lindsey, lying on the ground.
Desperate to keep him alive, Cleggett said, he pulled Lindsey close to him, sat him up, and begged him not to go.
“I opened his eyes with my hands,” Cleggett said. “I said, ‘Come on.’”
Lindsey, 30, was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he was pronounced dead. Iowa City police said they’ve thoroughly searched the area and don’t believe the general public is in any increased risk of danger.
Emergency personnel responded to 2437 Petsel Place at 11:26 p.m. Thursday on a report of shots fired and a man on the ground. They found a man, identified as Lindsey, lying unresponsive in a cul-de-sac off Mormon Trek Boulevard – east of West High School and west of the University of Iowa campus. He was suffering from gunshot wounds, police said.
The crime scene Friday morning was bordered by yellow police tape containing bright orange spray-painted circles where Lindsey apparently had been after being was shot.
One black crumpled glove lay within the boundaries of the crime scene, along with an empty coffee cup, a Styrofoam plate and other pieces of what appeared to be garbage.
Iowa City police, along with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and other neighboring law enforcement agencies, are continuing to investigate the shooting.
Cleggett, 20, told The Gazette that as he held an injured Lindsey in his arms Thursday night, the dying man tried to say something.
“’Help.’ I think he was trying to say ‘help’,” Cleggett said. “But all I saw was blood.”
Cleggett, who lit a cigarette while sitting in a parked car with his mom not far from the crime scene Friday morning, said he doesn’t have any idea who shot his friend or why. After enduring hours of police interviews and allowing investigators into his house to take items as evidence, Cleggett appeared exhausted and shocked.
“I can’t really think about it,” he said. “It’s just sad, that’s all.”
His mother, Bridgette Holmes, said she went with Lindsey to the hospital and watched as medical personnel attended to him.
“I loved the hell out of him,” she said. “That was my guy, and he loved me.”
Holmes said investigators on Friday morning were searching the apartment where she and Cleggett lived.
“They in my house for no reason,” she said. “My son was trying to comfort him while he was bleeding. He had blood on his hands because he was trying to stop the bleeding.”
Holmes said everyone loved Lindsey. Cleggett agreed, describing Lindsey as someone who was into “having fun and making money and loving family.”
A Facebook page belonging to a man named Donnelle Lindsey of Iowa City says he’s from Chicago and went to Kirkwood Community College. He also lists both West and City high schools on his profile, and he recently added pictures of himself boxing and posing with friends.
One person wrote on Facebook, “We grew up together. From Coralville Central to West High. Just saw you a few weeks back. You are going to be missed Rell.”
Another person wrote, “My thoughts and prayers are with the Lindsey family today. So sorry for your loss … R.I.P. Donelle.”
Lindsey has a lengthy criminal history in Iowa that includes two felony convictions for drug violations, and numerous arrests for alcohol, drug and driving violations.
He also was convicted in 2002 and 2003 of assault causing bodily injury in Johnson County and sentenced to jail and probation. In 2006, Lindsey was convicted in Johnson County of assault with intent to inflict serious injury and sentenced to 90 days in jail.
He was convicted on numerous occasions of violating the terms of his probation, failing to pay fines and interference with official acts. Lindsey was last sentenced in December to serve 30 days in jail on a conviction of consumption of alcohol in a public place.
The University of Iowa sent out a “Hawk Alert” at 12:06 a.m. Friday about the shooting investigation that occurred “one block off of the UI campus.” It notified recipients that police were looking for an armed suspect in the area.
Lin Larson, director of creative services for UI communications and marketing, said everything went as planned regarding the Hawk Alert, although not everyone received the message.
He said the UI statistics show that 30,592 alerts were successfully delivered, and about 3,000 did not go through. That’s an about 91 percent success rate, Larson said.
Most of the unsuccessful alerts were related either to issues with a receiving phone – like a busy signal or reception problems – or an individual’s changed status with the UI, Larson said.