Reggie Williams sat on his porch on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, one month after his daughter was shot and killed.
He has grown tired of the rumors, and would rather not listen anymore. All he wants to know is why.
“I ask myself that question every day of my life,” Williams said. “Why did it have to be her?”
Latasha N. Roundtree, 19, of Cedar Rapids, was shot in the head shortly before 10 p.m. on Sept. 22 in the 600 block of 16th Avenue SW in Cedar Rapids. She died early the next morning at an Iowa City hospital. No arrests have been made, and police have not commented publicly about the status of the investigation.
Williams said police indicated to him recently that they are making good progress on the case. He continues to hold out hope that the person who killed his daughter will be caught.
Better known as Tasha or “Tasha Mac,” Roundtree was well-liked in the Wellington Heights neighborhood, her father said. She was a standout basketball player at Washington High School and had accepted a partial scholarship to play at William Penn University in Oskaloosa. She returned to Cedar Rapids shortly before her death.
“She was fun-loving, kidding with her friends,” Williams said. “And she loved to play basketball. She had a heart of gold. She would do anything for anybody.”
Roundtree’s mother, Angelia, was killed in a car crash in 2006 when one of two cars drag racing along Mount Vernon Road crashed into her car. Six years later, Williams is dealing with another tragedy.
“There’s been good days and bad days, but I’m making it through,” Williams said.
Williams said he had a normal conversation with his daughter the day of the shooting, but did not ask her where she was going or what she had planned. He has heard that there was a party of some sort, and that his daughter likely was not the intended target.
He said a neurosurgeon told him his daughter likely saw the shooter before the shot was fired.
“He said the way she turned and the way the bullet entered her head, she saw,” Williams said.
Cedar Rapids police investigators have declined requests by the media to answer any questions about the case, a practice that has been adopted with the past few homicide investigations. They have eventually delivered, with arrests in six of the seven homicides since 2010. But all of those arrests have been made in less than 20 days. Wednesday is Day 31 of the Roundtree homicide investigation.
Williams said he is very confident that justice will be served. He had one message for the person who fired the fatal shot.
“Just tell the truth,” Williams said. “The truth will set you free. That’s all I ask.”