Iowa City reports decrease in shots fired after dramatic increase in 2020

In 2021, there were 20 fewer reports of shots fired than in 2020. The decrease comes after reports of shots fired quadrupled from 2019 to 2020.

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Katie Goodale

Iowa City Police Department vehicles are seen on July 9, 2019.

Meg Doster, News Reporter


The Iowa City Police reported a decrease in shots fired incidents for 2021 following a sharp increase in shooting reports between 2019 and 2020. 

In 2021, the Iowa City Police Department reported 37 shots fired incidents — 20 fewer incidents than 2020. The 2021 number remains historically high, with twice as many incidents compared to 2019, when 15 incidents were reported.

The number of shots fired also decreased from 2020, from 303 to 224. In 2019, 56 shots were fired total. 

Data visualization by Eleanor Hildebrandt/The Daily Iowan

While there have been fewer shots fired and incidents, the number of people injured by gunfire increased from 14 in 2020 to 17 in 2021. In 2021, three people were killed from gunshots, according to the city’s report.

RELATED: Police investigate shooting near Old Capitol Mall

While Iowa City police said in a press release that the decline in 2021 reports is encouraging, there is still work that needs to be done to prevent instances of shots fired, they said. For the 37 shots fired incidents in 2021, there have only been 26 arrests. Many of the cases are still under investigation.

In 2021, Iowa City Police seized 131 firearms.

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

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