UPDATED: Cedar Rapids Man Now Charged with Murder in I-80 Death
We now know just what a horrific, and strange situation law enforcement officers encountered on I-80 in central Iowa on Tuesday morning. A Cedar Rapids man has been charged with murder, and the victim has been identified.
As we told you Tuesday, law enforcement responded to westbound I-80, just a few miles east of the Grinnell exit, around 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday (October 3).
A media release and criminal complaint from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation indicates Iowa State Troopers saw a vehicle along westbound I-80, at mile-market 188. Iowa State Troopers observed a 2010 Chevrolet Malibu pulled off on the side of the interstate. Troopers found a man who said the vehicle needed a jump start.
The man, 23-year-old Jihah Abdul-Malik Gasaway of Cedar Rapids, identified himself and told troopers he had a gun. Troopers were able to recover the weapon.
The Iowa State Troopers noticed another man in the front passenger seat of the car. He did not respond to them and was "covered in miscellaneous clothing," according to the criminal complaint. Troopers then confirmed the man was dead of what appeared to be gunshot wounds.
The victim has been identified as 26-year-old Kemp Xavier Sherrod Harriel. An investigation determined he had been shot inside the vehicle.
According to the criminal complaint, Gasaway and Harriel had left Cedar Rapids for Des Moines early Tuesday morning. Troopers learned that the Malibu had been in the ditch of I-80 around mile marker 205 just after 6 a.m. Gasaway told troopers he and Harriel had "got into it."
On Wednesday, Gasaway was charged with Abuse of a Corpse, a Class C felony. Today (October 5), he was also charged with First Degree Murder. Gasaway is being held in the Poweshiek County Jail in Montezuma.
The investigation into the case continues.
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