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Clark’s death is ruled a homicide

The death of Wendel Clark has been ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner’s office.

Clark, 30, of Fort Dodge, died Wednesday of two gunshot wounds, according to a statement from the office.

To help solve the case, Webster County Crime Stoppers announced Friday morning that it is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who shot and killed Clark.

Fort Dodge police found Clark unconscious in the driver’s seat of his car Wednesday morning in the 10 block of Fourth Avenue Northwest.

Someone called the Fort Dodge Police Department to report the car in their backyard, according to Police Chief Kevin Doty.

Rescuers with the Fort Dodge Fire Department and Trinity Regional Medical Center treated Clark at the scene before transporting him to the hospital.

Clark was pronounced dead after he arrived at the hospital.

An autopsy was performed Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Charles Clayton, executive director of Athletics For Education and Success, reflected on the time he spent with Clark, who was his cousin.

“He had a smile that lit up the room. He wasn’t a negative-type person or anything like that.”

Clayton coached Clark in basketball when he was younger. It led to some of Clayton’s fondest memories of his cousin.

“Just being able to have the pleasure of coaching him,” he said. “He wanted to be a big basketball star like his brother, Thomas Clark. He wanted to be better than him.”

Thomas Clark, Clayton said, was a popular basketball player in Fort Dodge.

As Wendel Clark got older, Clayton said they would still see each other.

“From time to time, as an adult, he’d reach out,” he said, “and we’d do lunch if he had something on his mind or if he needed some advice.”

Since Clark’s death, Clayton said he’s been doing a lot of self-reflection.

He wants to put a stop to the violence in Fort Dodge.

“I’m searching for ways my organization, AFES, can do more to stop the shootings and the senselessness,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of self-reflection on what we can do.”

Clark also had a family.

“He’s got some young children,” Clayton said. “Hopefully, people will step up and make sure those children do remember their father and their mom gets the support she needs.”

“He will be missed by friends and family,” he added.

Before Clark was found Wednesday, officers had taken a report of shots fired in the same area. However, they were unable to figure out exactly what happened at that time.

In addition to the award posted in Clark’s case, an anonymous donor offered to match the $2,500 if another Webster County homicide is solved as well.

On Sept. 29, Roger Brown, 55, was found dead of a gunshot wound in his trailer in Dayton.

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs said Brown’s body was discovered by two women after Brown failed to show up to an appointment with them.

That crime remains under investigation by the Webster County Sheriff’s Department and Dayton Police Department.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is assisting in both homicides.

Anyone with information on Clark’s case is asked to call the Fort Dodge Police Department at 573-1426.

Information on Brown’s case can be passed along by calling the Webster County Sheriff’s Department at 573-1410.

Tips in both cases can also be placed by calling Webster County Crime Stoppers at 573-1444, as well as online by visiting wccrimestoppers.com or by texting “LEC” and the tip to 274637.