CORALVILLE, Iowa -- This is a press release from the Coralville Police Department. This is NOT a press release directly from the Iowa Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). All media inquries should be directed to the Coralville Police Department.
A Coralville Police Officer was at the Coral Ridge Mall, 1451 Coral Ridge Avenue, Coralville, Iowa, at approximately 7:30 PM, June 12, 2015, investigating an unrelated matter when he heard gun shots in the mall. He immediately communicated this over the police radio. Multiple area law enforcement officers responded to the mall. Upon arrival near the information desk inside the mall, officers found victim, Andrea Farrington, with multiple gunshot wounds to her torso. Farrington was transported to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa, where she was pronounced dead.
Multiple witnesses on the scene helped law enforcement officers identify the shooter as mall security employee Alexander Kozak, 22. Witnesses also reported hearing and seeing three shots being fired by Kozak. Three (3), 9 MM casings and three (3) fired bullets were recovered from the scene. A witness that saw the shooting observed Kozak flee in a blue Kia Optima bearing Texas registration plates.
At approximately 8:23 PM, Iowa State Trooper Russ Engstler observed the Kia Optima traveling on I-80 east bound near mile marker 285. At approximately 8:30 PM, Trooper Engstler and Scott County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ryan Lage stopped the Kia Optima near mile marker 294. Trooper Engstler took Kozak into custody. Trooper Engstler and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Special Agent In-Charge Richard Rahn transported Kozak to Coralville Police Department. SAC Rahn interviewed Kozak who stated he had left the mall, retrieved a gun from his residence in North Liberty. He said he returned to the mall, intentionally shot the victim in the back three times, then fled.
An autopsy was performed on Ms. Farrington at the UIHC on June 13, 2015. Results from the autopsy are pending.
The victim, Andrea Farrington, 20, graduated from Montezuma High School in 2012. She resided in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She worked for the Iowa Children’s Museum and was working at the Children’s Museum in the Welcome Center of the mall when she was shot. She had been working for the Children’s Museum for just over 6 months, her dream job according to her family.
Alexander Matthew Kozak has been charged with Murder in the First Degree in violation of Iowa Code 707.2. He is being held in the Muscatine County jail on $10,000,000.00 bond.
He was employed as a security officer at the Coral Ridge Mall since late 2014. He had been working at the mall on June 12th prior to the shooting.
The Coralville Police Department has been assisted in the investigations by the Iowa City Police Department, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) -– DCI Agents and DCI Crime Lab, Iowa State Patrol, Johnson County Ambulance, Johnson County Attorney’s Office, Johnson County Joint Emergency Communications Center, Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, North Liberty Police Department, Scott County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Coral Ridge Mall Security, Coral Ridge Mall Management, numerous employees at Coral Ridge Mall businesses, and citizen witnesses.
The investigation is continuing. Additional Information will be released as it becomes available.
Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.