Authorities: Iowa patrol trooper slain amid violent standoff | Nation/World News
LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) – A 27-year-old Iowa State Patrol veteran was shot dead during a violent clash with a man fighting agents in an armored personnel carrier and saying he intended to shoot other officers, authorities said Saturday .
Sgt. Jim Smith was killed at the Grundy Center Friday night when he and other officers entered the home of Michael Thomas Lang, 41, who fled there after previous police chase.
The stalemate ended around midnight on Friday when a team of patrolmen broke into the house in an armored personnel carrier. Lang fired several shots at the carrier. Three officers inside the porter returned fire and beat the man several times, the authorities said.
Lang was hospitalized in critical condition on Saturday. He has been charged with first degree murder and is on bail for $ 1 million.
Steve Bayens, commissioner for the Iowa Department of Public Safety, said Smith “died a hero” and “sacrificed himself to protect others”.
“We’re hurt, we’re angry,” said Bayens. “But rest assured, we are not broken. We will continue to carry the burdens of our communities while we carry our own. We will continue to stand in the gulf between good and evil because, like Jim, we are called to do so. “
Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the criminal investigation department, said events began at 7:22 p.m. Friday when a Grundy Center official tried to stop Lang over a traffic violation. Lang was known to Grundy City officials and shouldn’t be driving, he said.
Lang fled, but finally stopped and attacked the officer, said Mortvedt. Lang called the officer “Shoot me at” several times during the attack, and Lang disarmed the officer with his gun and stun gun and put him in a stranglehold, he added.
A Grundy County MP arrived and told Lang to drop his gun. Instead, Lang shouted “Come get me” and got into his vehicle. It ended up at his home and several police officers came, Mortvedt said.
Lang’s father came and told the officers that his son had several guns in the house.
Four Iowa patrolmen, including Smith and a K-9 unit, entered the house and Smith was shot dead when officers tried to evacuate the house, he said. Two members of the team retired to the basement while other officers pulled Smith out.
Lang barricaded himself for several hours. Officials in the basement said Lang made several statements about Smith’s shooting and “expressed a desire to shoot more police officers,” he said.
At around 11:50 p.m., a patrol team tried to break into the house with the armored personnel carrier and exchanged shots with Lang, Mortvedt said.
No other officers were injured.
Governor Kim Reynolds said she plans to order flags, which in Smith’s memory will be hoisted on half of the staff.
“It is with deep sadness that we recognize the loss of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, a brave hero who died in the service,” Reynolds said in a statement on Saturday. “Sgt. Jim Smith was a loving husband, father of two, and a pillar of the community. I and the entire state of Iowa mourn the loss of family and friends who are trying to cope with this devastating loss. Today we are reminded once again of the selfless sacrifices made by brave men and women in uniform. Let us never forget their bravery and that of their loved ones. “
Smith is the 11th soldier to die on duty in patrol history. The last death was on September 20, 2011 when Soldier Mark Toney died in a crash in Warren County while trying to stop traffic.
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