While the City of Iowa City continues to be a safe place to live, work, and explore our vibrant community, it is not immune to acts of gun violence. Addressing gun violence is among the Iowa City Police Department's highest priorities and the department is pleased to report a decrease in confirmed criminal shots fired incidents in 2021 compared to the year before.

Here are the three-year gun violence statistics in the City:

Shots fired incidents

2019: 15

2020: 57

2021: 37

Number of shots fired

2019: 56

2020: 303

2021: 224

While the decrease is encouraging, areas of concern remain. In 2021, there were 17 people struck by gunfire - including three homicides - an increase over the 14 people struck in 2020. Even with a decrease from 2020 to 2021, shots fired incidents are at historically high numbers. 

"The impacts of gun violence have been felt throughout our entire community in recent years," said Iowa City Police Chief Dustin Liston. "The police department is committed to working with the community on proactive measures to reduce gun violence."

If you or your organization are interested in hosting an informational meeting with an officer to learn more about the steps your neighborhood can take to decrease gun violence, contact Community Outreach Assistant Daisy Torres at daisy-torres@iowa-city.org.

The Iowa City Police Department continues to work diligently to address shots fired incidents. Investigations into the 37 incidents resulted in 26 arrests and many of these incidents remain under investigation. Iowa City police also seized 131 firearms in 2021.

Staying safe

One way the Iowa City community can help to reduce gun violence is to be responsible gun owners and ensure firearms do not fall in the wrong hands. Be SMART recommends all firearms are unloaded when not in use, secured with a firearm locking device, and stored separately from ammunition. Both the firearm and ammunition should be kept in secure locations.

Reporting an incident

If you see or hear shots fired, ensure that you are safe and then call 911 immediately. Be prepared to give as much information to the dispatcher as possible including suspect and vehicle descriptions and direction of travel. 

If you have information about a shots fired incident or any other crime, you may be eligible for a reward through Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers tips can be submitted via the P3 Tips app, online at iccrimestoppers.org, or by phone at 319-358-TIPS (8477). All tips and calls are held in strict confidence and anonymity is guaranteed. Individuals providing information are not required to reveal their identity to collect a reward.

Date of publication

Friday, January 21, 2022