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College Student Killed Entire Family After Dad Said ‘Find a Job or Move Out
Cedar Rapid, Iowa
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Police say Alexander Jackson, 20, fatally shot his parents and teen sister in their Cedar Rapids home on Tuesday. He has another explanation.

Alexander Jackson, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student, called police Tuesday morning in a panic, claiming a masked intruder had shot him and his father inside their home.

When Cedar Rapid officers arrived at the scene, they found Jackson’s parents and his 19-year-old sister—a high-achieving student who introduced then-presidential candidate Andrew Yang during his 2019 visit to Iowa—fatally shot in different rooms of the expansive house. Jackson had suffered a gunshot wound to the foot after what he insisted was a struggle over the rifle with the mysterious man.

Police, however, now believe it was actually Jackson who murdered his father, 61-year-old Jan Jackson, his 68-year-old mother, Melissa Jackson, and their daughter, Sabrina. Jackson has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and is being held in Linn County Jail on a $3 million bond.

While authorities have not yet established a motive, a criminal complaint obtained by The Daily Beast said that Jackson admitted that “his father had recently advised that he needed to find a job or move out.” It noted that the house showed no signs of being burglarized.

“This was a horrendous murder,” Assistant Linn County Attorney Ryan Decker said during Jackson’s initial court appearance on Wednesday. “This was more than just a murder, it was an execution of the defendant’s mother, father, and sister. 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, officers arrived at the scene at around 8:23 a.m. Tuesday after Jackson’s frantic call about a male intruder. Officers, however, instead found his three slain family members. They recovered a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle believed to be the murder weapon.

Jackson told authorities that he “woke up to the sound of gunfire and was shot in the foot during a struggle with a masked man over the rifle,” the complaint states. He told police he and his father had cleaned the rifle the night before and left it on the fireplace overnight.

The incident sent shockwaves through the Jackson family’s quiet suburban community. A candlelight vigil has been planned for Wednesday night at Kennedy High School, which Jackson and his sister attended before they both went to the University of Iowa.

In 2019, Sabrina made local headlines when she introduced Yang—who is now running for New York City mayor—during his discussion with state Sen. Rob Hogg about climate change. According to IowaStartingLine, the then-senior described how she first heard about Yang on a podcast and was immediately enthralled.

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