According to a criminal complaint released on Wednesday, Alexander Jackson, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student charged with shooting and killing his parents and sister at their family home this week, informed police that a masked individual committed the triple murder.
According to the complaint, Jackson called police Tuesday morning to report that a male intruder had broken into his family’s Cedar Rapids home and shot him and his father.
Cedar Rapids police said responding officers discovered the bodies of Jan Jackson, 61, Melissa Jackson, 68, and Sabrina Jackson, 19, in separate parts of the residence. They had all been shot.
Jackson was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to his foot, authorities said.
The complaint stated, however, that officers discovered no traces of forced entry or burglary at the residence and retrieved a.22 caliber semi-automatic weapon suspected to have been used in the shootings.
Jackson was arrested and charged with three charges of first-degree murder in connection with the killings of his family, authorities said.
According to The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids, Assistant Linn County Attorney Ryan Decker described the incident as “a horrifying murder” during the suspect’s initial appearance in district court Wednesday morning.
“This was more than just a murder – it was an execution of the defendant’s mother, father, and sister,” Decker said. “Furthermore, the defendant’s concocted story of a phantom burglar shows the defendant acted out of malice and calculated intent to get away with these murders.”
According to the complaint, he denied shooting his family members but claimed that his father had lately told him he needed to find work or leave the house.
Alexander Jackson told police he awoke to the sound of gunfire and was shot following a battle with a masked guy over the weapon, which he claimed he and his father left on the fireplace the previous night after cleaning it.
Jackson was being held on a $3 million bond and faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.