Des Moines police shooting: killed officers named after ‘ambush’

Scott Michael Greene has not been charged in deaths of two officers

The man suspected of gunning down two Iowa police officers was taken into custody on Wednesday morning, just hours after the Des Moines-area shooting.

Police named Scott Michael Greene as a suspect after he allegedly shot and killed two officers in an ambush-style attack. Greene, a 46-year-old white man, is believed to have killed an Urbandale police officer who was sitting in his car just after 1am. A short while later, a Des Moines police sergeant was found killed in his car about two miles away.

Greene is from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, and is the only suspect in the shootings, Sgt Paul Parizek of Des Moines police confirmed. He has not been charged with any crimes but remains in police custody.

After police named Greene as a suspect and launched a manhunt to find him, Greene himself asked a state employee to call police as he walked along a roadway one county west of Des Moines, Parizek said. Greene reportedly showed the employee his identification and asked him to call 911. He was taken into custody without incident, and was not armed when police found him.

Locations of the Des Moines shooting
Locations of the Des Moines shooting.

Parizek added that Green was currently under police supervision in a local hospital for a pre-existing medical condition.

Authorities declined to speculate on a possible motive for the killer, although Greene was well known by Urbandales 50-person police department, according to the local police chief, Ross McCarty. Parizek said: Everybody involved is white..

The attack, and several other recent ambushes of on-duty police officers, comes in the midst of a tense national conversation on the use of force by law enforcement, particularly against black Americans. Five Dallas police officers were killed during a peaceful protest against police killings of black men in July. Three officers were killed in Baton Rouge about a week later.

The Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, has branded himself the law and order candidate, and has repeatedly called for more respect and power for law enforcement. Both Trump and Hillary Clinton offered their condolences to the officers families on Wednesday morning, and Clintons campaign canceled an event during which vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine and Bill Clinton were scheduled to appear in Des Moines.

At a rally in Miami on Wednesday afternoon, Trump said that violence against police showed a lack of respect for our nation. Its a lack of respect for our leadership.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

Praying for the families of the two Iowa police who were ambushed this morning. An attack on those who keep us safe is an attack on us all.

November 2, 2016

To all the great men and women of law enforcement, I want you know, were with you, we support you and we will stand by you, he said. Were going to restore law, order and justice in America.

Officials from the Des Moines and Urbandale police departments released additional details on Greene late on Wednesday morning before naming their killed colleagues. Sgt Anthony Beminio, known as Tony, had worked with Des Moines police for more than 10 years.

Parizek said Beminio was a great guy in this department and a fantastic family man.

Its just really hard to lose Tony, he said.

Officer Justin Martin had been working for the Urbandale police department for just over a year and was in the midst of a 12-hour shift when he was fatally shot.

We had high expectations for his future and its tragically been cut very short here, said McCarty.

Parizek confirmed that investigators still believed Beminio and Martin were ambushed on Wednesday morning.

There was absolutely nothing either one of these officers could have done to prevent this or save themselves once this had started, he said.

Although officials were unsure of Greenes motivation, McCarty did say that Greene appeared at a court hearing on Tuesday for a dispute involving his mother. His mother was recently arrested for allegedly assaulting her son, the AP reported.

Greene had also recently been involved in an incident at the local high school in Urbandale, where his daughter is a student, according to McCarty. Two widely circulated YouTube videos uploaded by a man named Scott Greene show a man arguing with police after being asked to leave a high school football game where he displayed a Confederate flag.

Parizek couldnt confirm that it was in fact the same Scott Greene in the videos, but McCarty did confirm that Greene was recently asked to leave a football game at the local high school and given a warning for trespassing. At the game, Greene reportedly waved a Confederate flag in front of several black spectators. The YouTube video, uploaded on 14 October, is titled Police Abuse, Civil Rights Violation at Urbandale High School 10/14/16.

Police said they had not yet recovered the weapon or weapons that Greene was suspected of using during the attack.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/02/des-moines-police-shooting-officers-scott-michael-greene