Two Iowa police officers were shot in their patrol cars early Wednesday morning in what the Des Moines police department called ‘ambush style attacks, ” the AP reports. Both officers have died.
— KCCI News (@KCCINews) November 2, 2016
The first shooting occurred just after 1.00am., when an officer responded to a reports of shots being fired in the town of Urbandale and found one of his colleagues dead in his patrol car. According to local authorities, the murdered officer was sitting alone when he was hit.
Around 20 minutes later, another officer was found with a gunshot wound in his patrol vehicle a few miles away from the first shooting’s location. He was immediately transported to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police say the shootings appeared to have been “ambush-style attacks.”
Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said during an emotional press conference early Wednesday that authorities were starting to develop suspect information, but that no conclusive information could be shared with the public at this point.
“We’re just a few hours into this,” he said, containing his tears “It doesn’t look like there was any interaction between these officers and whoever the coward is that shot them in their cars.”
Asked about the danger that officers face in the of duty, Sergeant Parizek said there was a “definitely danger” for police forces right now, alluding to recent tensions between law enforcement and the public throughout the country.
“These guys were gunned down, sitting in their car doing nothing wrong,” he said. “There’s definitely danger out there right now.”
The killings bring the total number of law enforcement officers shot to death on duty this year to 51 this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund — a 54% increase from last year.
In July, five police officers were gunned down and seven injured in the heart of Dallas by Micah Johnson, an army veteran and black militant who said he’d wanted to kill “white officers”