Man ar­rested in deadly Iowa po­lice am­bush


A man known to po­lice for sev­eral run-ins with the law, most re­cently for wav­ing a Con­fed­er­ate flag at a foot­ball game, was ar­rested as a sus­pect in the am­bush killings of two Iowa of­fi­cers shot in their pa­trol cars early on Wed­nes­day, au­thor­i­ties said.

Po­lice of­fered no pos­si­ble mo­tive for what pre­cip­i­tated the at­tacks, which un­folded shortly af­ter 1 am (0600 GMT) in Iowa’s cap­i­tal, Des Moines, and its af­flu­ent Ur­ban­dale sub­urb, nor did they ex­plain what led them to the sus­pect, Scott Michael Greene, 46.

De­tails of the shoot­ings and the cir­cum­stances of Greene’s ar­rest were not made public.

But the body of the first slain of­fi­cer was found near the sta­dium where Greene had been ex­pelled by po­lice last month. Greene, who is white, was re­moved af­ter wav­ing a Con­fed­er­ate bat­tle flag in front of black spec­ta­tors while the na­tional an­them was be­ing played at the start of a high school foot­ball game.

The two slain po­lice­men were both white, each shot while sit­ting in his cruiser. Ur­ban­dale of­fi­cer Justin Martin, 24, was found dead first, and the body of Sergeant An­thony Bemino, 38, of the Des Moines depart­ment, was dis­cov­ered 20 min­utes later.

Three bul­let holes were vis­i­ble in Bemino’s pa­trol car in Des Moines, about 2 miles (3 km) away from the Ur­ban­dale shoot­ing scene.

“These of­fi­cers were am­bushed,” Des Moines po­lice spokesman Paul Parizek told a news con­fer­ence.

Ur­ban­dale Po­lice Chief Ross Mc­Carty said Greene, who has not been for­mally charged in the crimes, was well known to local po­lice af­ter var­i­ous pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters with law en­force­ment be­sides the flag-wav­ing in­ci­dent.

In 2014, he pleaded guilty to in­ter­fer­ence with of­fi­cial acts in an in­ci­dent in­volv­ing po­lice.


Well-wish­ers put flow­ers on a squad car parked out­side the Des Moines Po­lice Depart­ment af­ter two po­lice of­fi­cers were shot and killed in sep­a­rate at­tacks de­scribed as “am­bush-style” in Ur­ban­dale and Des Moines, Iowa on Wed­nes­day.

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