Two Iowa towns are mourning the loss of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty on November 2, 2016, reports The Los Angeles Times. A suspect is in custody for the shootings after flagging down authorities a county away from where the crimes originally took place. As police continue to investigate, they revealed gruesome details in the case which demonstrate that the separate crimes were no accident: The officers were ambushed while sitting in their patrol cars. The man will face murder charges, and likely prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law considering that he took the lives of two officers beloved in their respected communities.
Police Respond to Calls of Shots Fired: Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on November 2, authorities received calls reporting gunfire from various residents in the vicinity of Urbandale, Iowa, a town located just northwest of Des Moines. Police responded and discovered the vehicle of the first officer; his body seated in the driver’s position with multiple gunshot wounds. Approximately 20 minutes later, the second officer was found in his squad car. He died later at an area hospital.
As authorities investigated the two shootings, it became apparent that both incidents involved ambush by the perpetrator. Neither officer appeared to have any warning of an attack, nor were there facts indicating that there was any interaction between them and the suspect. Both officers seemed to have been going about their routine patrol shifts, neither was in the process of responding to a call, and neither had communicated any issued via radio.
Suspect Apprehended Hours Later
Hours after the bodies of the two officers were discovered, the suspect flagged down an official from the Department of Natural Resources and requested him to call 911. The man was immediately taken into custody, and later arrested in the deaths of both officers when authorities gathered enough evidence to charge him.
Previous Interaction with Police
The suspect had numerous run-ins with authorities in the months leading up to the ambush-style killings, including one just two weeks earlier. He was told to leave a sports event at a local high school after waving a Confederate flag near audience members who were people of color. The accused complained that officials were infringing on his First Amendment rights, but the incident wasn’t directly identified as a motive in the killings of the two police officers.
Police Shootings in San Diego
Under California law and in San Diego the murder of a police officer may lead to “special circumstance” charges against a defendant, which allows prosecuting attorneys to seek the death penalty against a defendant. You can beat or reduce the charges with a strong defense, potentially avoiding the death penalty, but you’re at a disadvantage unless you have an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. California criminal law and procedural rules are extremely complicated, and a lawyer can help you navigate the complex court process. If you’re facing serious criminal charges, consult with a San Diego criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights.
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