One young man is dead and another injured after gunshots rang out on College Hill early Saturday morning.
At around 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, Cedar Falls police officers were dispatched to the College Hill area just off UNI’s campus after receiving a report of gunshots being fired, according to a press release issued by the Cedar Falls Police Department (CFPD).
As the officers arrived to the scene, they found a gunshot victim in the back yard of the 2300 block of Olive Street, who was promptly taken to a local hospital. The victim was later identified as Waterloo native Alex Michael Bullerman.
Bullerman, who was wounded from a single gunshot, died at the hospital. He was 18 years old.
About one hour after Bullerman was taken to the hospital, the CFPD was notified of a second gunshot victim who had been transported to a hospital by private vehicle.
This second individual was later identified as Dylan James Gehrke, who is also 18 years old and from Waterloo. Gehrke was released from the hospital Saturday morning after being treated for a single gunshot wound.
The University of Northern Iowa issued an alert shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning advising the student body to avoid the College Hill area due to reports of gunshots. The alert also stated that a suspect was seen running east towards Main Street, and that Cedar Falls Police officers were on the scene at that time.
A second alert was sent out by the university approximately one hour later, stating that the CFPD reported that the gunfire on College Hill was an isolated incident and that there is no longer a threat to the public.
Omer Noorwala, owner of the store Up in Smoke on College Hill, described the scene in his shop at the time of the incident.
“A bunch of kids came in running, and they were talking on the phone. Then the cops came outside and they had everybody move from the back,” Noorwala recalled. “It was a chaotic situation, and everybody was scared, you know, with what happened.”
According to Noorwala, Cedar Falls Police arrived within two minutes of the reported gunfire.
By 12 p.m. on Saturday, police officers had sectioned off the parking lots behind several College Hill businesses, including The Other Place, Little Bigs and Social House.
Four to five law enforcement vehicles were parked near the crime scene, and police officers were seen searching the area behind the aforementioned businesses with a metal detector.
The police didn’t just limit their search to the designated crime scene, however, as they were later seen scanning the ground across the street.
In addition to the Cedar Falls Police Department, the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa State Patrol, Waterloo Police Department and the UNI Police Department assisted during the incident.
As stated in the CFPD’s press release, which was issued at 6:57 a.m. on Saturday morning, police are continuing to investigate this homicide and more information will be released as it becomes available.
The press release also urged those with information concerning the incident to contact Cedar Falls Police at (319) 273-8612.