(Muir Analytics’ Quick Brief is broadly based on the Pentagon EXSUM briefing method. The aim is to quickly explain an evolving hotel threat issue in about 15 lines in executive summary format. Muir has added a quick analysis of the issue that can help hotels mitigate certain risks.)
Chain of events
- On 1 October, a large group of several dozen adults and teens gathered for a birthday party in one of the conference rooms at the Cedar Rapids Ramada by Wyndham in Iowa, says KWWL news.
- KWWL reporter Michele White says at 10:29 pm, there was an altercation at the party, and hotel guest (and first responder) Raymond Miller, who was approaching the front desk, says he saw people running from the conference room toward the exit doors.
- Shortly after that, multiple shots rang out, sending more people scrambling to escape the hotel.
- A hotel employee called 9-11, and then the employee, Miller, and a female guest who was also a first responder ran into the chaos to assist the wounded.
- Six people were shot; one had life-threatening injuries, two seemingly had severe injuries but not life-threatening, and three others went to the hospital in civilian vehicles, indicating light wounds. A 13-year-old boy was amongst the latter.
- Miller told the press, “Most of them were shot multiple times. The young lady I was working on – her ankle was just about shot off. And we began to wrap towels around them, trying the best we could to keep the bleeding to a minimum.”
- Afterward, several gunshot victims turned their phones off, refusing to talk to police investigators.
- Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman says he has seen scenarios like this where eyewitnesses to crime and victims of violence refused to talk to his department.
- KCRG News interviewed Ture Morrow of the anti-violence group, We Are CR, who said the lack of police cooperation results from “cultural issues and resulting distrust,” plus fear of retaliation by the violent perpetrators.
- Police said there might have been two shooters, and the victims likely knew the perpetrator(s), reports KHAK News.
- Three days after the event, police were reviewing the hotel’s CCTV footage to figure out what happened, and they were still trying to get witnesses to talk.
- Thirteen days after the event, The Gazette reported that police had spoken to the 13-year-old victim, plus others, and they had been able to piece together bits and pieces of the shooting, but they still had not publicly identified the shooter(s).
First, if the first responders had not been at the hotel during the shooting, the one seriously wounded person might have died from excessive blood loss, and the other victims might have been worse off as well. First responders being in the hotel at such a critical time was a stroke of luck.
Second, shootings at hotel parties in the US are not uncommon. Muir Analytics’ SecureHotel Threat Portal database has scores of such cases. They happen during hotel pool parties, birthday celebrations, “big screen” sports viewing parties, large and small social meetups, and even quinceañera parties.
Third, in gangster/drug dealer-related shootings, especially at hotel parties, it is not uncommon for eyewitnesses to refuse to cooperate with the police. Many gangsters pay informants to watch out for “snitches” who talk to the police. Once identified, the gangsters commit violence against the snitches, or their families, or both. It is an effective method of operational security that causes many violent crimes in the US to go unsolved.
Looking forward, hotel shootings like this are likely to continue. Violent crime in the US is rising, and drugs are coming across the southern border in high volume. Muir Analytics records as many as 30-50 acts of hotel violence in the US every month. Much of it is drug-related. Additionally, as US policing recedes, violent criminals like those who opened fire at the Cedar Rapids Ramada will be emboldened. Their anti-snitch methods will not abate. This violence will continue to impact US hotels, resulting in increased human casualties, physical damages to hotel interiors, brand damages, and lawsuits over security negligence.
Reinvigorated policing and physical security that thwarts drug imports are two factors that would help alleviate this prolific hotel violence problem.
Sources and further reading:
“Victims and witnesses talk with police about Ramada shooting,” The Gazette, 14 October 2021.
“Cedar Rapids Police Looking For Answers After Weekend Shooting,” KHAK News, 5 October 2021.
“Fear of retaliation, distrust of police cited as reasons for lack of cooperation after shooting,” KCRG News, 5 October 2021.
“Victims of Cedar Rapids shooting not cooperating with police,” KWWL News, 4 October 2021,
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