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Ames Police Investigate Shooting, Victim Remains in Critical Condition

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AMES, Iowa - Officials are investigating a shooting that has left one man in critical condition in Ames Wednesday.

The Ames Police Department says it received a call of a shooting at The Grove apartments at 1419 S. Grand Avenue in Ames at 1:53 a.m. When officers arrived to unit 403, they say they found 31-year-old Christopher Heppeard with a gunshot wound to his chest.

Heppeard was taken to Mary Greely Medical Center by ambulance, and then transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines by air ambulance.

"We did find two people at the apartment, we've brought them in for questioning," said Commander Jason Tuttle, with the Ames Police Department. "The two individuals initially were not cooperative with us, wouldn't give us the details of what happened about the shooting."

While police await answers from the two potential witnesses, other residents are surprised to hear this even happened.

"I was shocked that, I mean, somebody that I could potentially know, living this close to me, had something like that happen," said Nathaniel Anderson, a resident and student at Iowa State University. "It just wouldn't even ever cross my mind, for that to happen."

Anderson is finishing his first year of living at The Grove. He says these apartments are specifically sanctioned for students at Iowa State, and hardly anything bad ever goes on. He plans to live here next year, as well.

"I mean, it's a great community," he said. "I've grown close to quite a few people here, and I would never have expected anything like that. Plus Ames is, I would consider, a fairly safe place, and I would never expect anybody to get shot."

It's that safe reputation Ames has gained over the years that police hope will help keep people at ease.

"We don't believe there's any danger, we believe that this was a targeted act of violence, we believe people knew each other prior to this incident," Comm. Tuttle said.

Heppeard remains hospitalized at Iowa Methodist Medical Center.

The investigation is still underway.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Ames Police Department at 515-239-5133 or the anonymous tip line 515-239-5533. You may also contact Crime Stoppers of Central Iowa at 515-223-1400. Online anonymous tips may be submitted to or text a tip, Text "PCCS" plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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