2 Iowa police officers killed in apparent ambush attacks
USA - Two Iowa police officers were killed in separate, apparent ambush shootings near Des Moines early Wednesday, authorities said. The first officer, who worked for the Urbandale Police Department, was killed shortly after 1 a.m. in Urbandale, northwest of Des Moines. Officers responding to a report of shots fired found the officer dead, still seated in his squad car, police said.
About 20 minutes later, a Des Moines police officer was found shot in his vehicle at a nearby intersection. That officer was taken to a hospital, where he died, Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek said. “On the surface right now ... it doesn’t look like there was any interaction between these officers and whoever the coward is that shot them while they sat in their cars,” Parizek said, holding back tears. “In all appearances it looks ... that these officers were ambushed,” he added.
The shooter has not yet been identified and is still at large, authorities said. No motive was immediately known, but Parizek said “there is a clear and present danger to police officers right now.” “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.” The officers’ names weren’t immediately released.
The slain Des Moines officer is the third in that city to die in the line of duty this year. Two Des Moines officers -- Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente Morales -- were killed March 26 when their vehicle was hit head-on by a driver going the wrong way, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. “I don’t even know where to begin, how bad this year is,” Parizek said, after a reporter asked him how officers can prepare to do their jobs amid another tragedy. “This is what we do. We come in, day in, day out. We go out there and we provide the same level of service regardless of what’s going on in our personal or professional lives.” “We know we’ve got the best community. We saw that after Carlos and Susan were killed, and I certainly expect we’re going to see the same thing coming,” he said.
The Urbandale Police Department, a force of about 50 officers, said it believes this is the first officer it has lost in the line of duty.