Two police officers on separate patrols for their respective departments in Urbandale and Des Moines were shot and killed early Wednesday morning. A manhunt for the party or parties responsible is currently under way.
According to the Des Moines Register, members of both departments responded to the first call (a report of gunfire) at 1:06 a.m. local time. What they found was an Urbandale officer who’d been shot in an apparent ambush attack. CNN reports first responders indicated the unnamed officer, who died in the attack, was seated in their patrol car when it happened.
About 20 minutes after the first call, a Des Moines police officer was shot and killed while responding to the first officer’s death. Like the first victim, the second was still seated in their patrol car when the alleged attack took place. Needless to say, cops in the area are on high alert while they try to figure out what happened and find the individual — or group — responsible.
Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek addressed the matter in a short press conference:
“There is clearly danger if you’re a police officer. These guys were gunned down sitting in their car, doing nothing wrong. So, there’s definitely some danger out there. There’s somebody out there shooting police officers. We hope we find him before anybody else gets hurt.”
Neither Parizek nor anyone else working the matter offered any details about who the suspect(s) may be. Meanwhile, schools in Urbandale and the surrounding area were closed for the day while police from both departments pursued their investigation.
UPDATE #1: At 7:30 a.m. local time, investigators identified area resident Scott Michael Greene as a suspect in both attacks.
According to the Des Moine Register:
Police described Greene, age 46, as 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. He was last known to be driving a blue 2011 Ford F-150 with Iowa license plate 780 YFR. The truck has a silver-colored topper with a ladder rack, police said.
Officers stressed that anyone with information about Greene and his whereabouts, or anyone who spots him on the run, should call 911 and refrain from involving themselves any further.
UPDATE #2: The Des Moines Register reports Scott Michael Greene has been taken into custody by the authorities. Urbandale Police spokesperson Sgt. Chad Underwood indicated the suspect in the apparent ambush of two Iowa police officers had been apprehended, though no details were given at the time.
UPDATE #3: According to CNN, Scott Michael Greene remains in police custody but has not been charged or arrested. The authorities simply want to question him about his whereabouts during the times these incidents occurred, though as Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek explained, he is “suspected of doing this.”
Meanwhile, the names of the two murdered police officers were released to the public in another press conference — Officer Justin Martin of Urbandale PD and Sgt. Anthony “Tony” Beminio of Des Moines PD.