A government soldier was shot dead during an altercation between law enforcement and a detained suspect at a house in Iowa on Friday night, authorities said.
Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens identified the team as Sgt. Jim Smith, a 27-year-old veteran of the Iowa State Patrol.
“He was shot dead, trying to cover up a blocked case,” Bayens told a news conference on Saturday afternoon, adding that authorities would “do everything in their power” to make sure the killer of Smith was charged.
The Iowa State Patrol has identified a fallen soldier as 27-year-old veteran Sergeant Jim Smith.
The Iowa State Patrol has identified a fallen soldier as a veteran of 27-year-old veteran Sergeant Jim Smith.
The stabbing that led to Smith’s death began after the Grundy Center, Iowa, police tried to demolish Michael Thomas Lang, 41, for violating traffic rules around 7.22pm. On Friday, according to Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director at the Division of Criminal Investigation.
Police fired Lang after fleeing from police, he said. Lang later pulled out of his car, got out of his car and attacked a Grundy Center police officer who was chasing him, according to Mortvedt. He also disarmed a Taser officer, took his radio and put the officer in danger, he said.
Several officers responded to the scene, including a deputy pulling out his weapon and ordering Lang to put his hands up, according to Mortvedt. Lang did not do so and ran away, officials said. The deputy chased after Lang, who spotted him and later tried to find Lang where he lived. After learning that he was present, the deputy called for help from other police officers in the area. Lang’s father then arrived at the house and told police that his son had several guns inside the house.
At about 8:55 p.m., four Iowa State Patrol soldiers and a deputy Harden County Sheriff K-9 entered the house through a garage. According to Mortvedt, the team announced as law enforcement officers when they entered.
“When the incoming team began clearing the upper floor, Sgt. Jim Smith was hit by a gun coming from inside the house,” he said. “After Sgt Smith Smith’s shooting, team members who were in attendance saw Lang coming out of the door, armed with a black pistol.”
Authorities later opened fire, beating Lang several times, after blocking them for hours.
Smith was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead at the scene of a single gunshot wound, Mortvedt said. Lang was also rushed to hospital, where he underwent surgery and is in a critical condition.
Lang has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and a Class A charge of $ 1 million, Mortvedt said, adding that their investigation was ongoing.
Smith is the first soldier to die on duty since 2011, when Trooper Mark Toney died in an accident in Warren County while trying to stop cars.