Wednesday 26 April 2017

Police capture man suspected of ambush killings of US police officers

Scott Michael Greene, 46, being sought by Des Moines and Urbandale Police Departments investigators Credit: Urbandale Police Department/Handout via REUTERS
Scott Michael Greene, 46, being sought by Des Moines and Urbandale Police Departments investigators Credit: Urbandale Police Department/Handout via REUTERS

Brian Frank

US police have captured the man suspected in the ambush killings of two Des Moines area officers.

Police were searching for a local man named Scott Michael Greene, 46. A police photo showed him as white, with a light beard.

Police officers gather evidence at the scene of a shooting, Wednesday (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Police officers gather evidence at the scene of a shooting, Wednesday (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Police in Des Moines, Iowa conduct an investigation after two police officers were shot and killed in separate attacks described as "ambush-style" in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Frank
Police in Urbandale, Iowa set a blockade after two police officers were shot and killed in separate attacks described as "ambush-style" in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Frank

"Our detectives are looking to speak with Mr. Greene right now," Des Moines police department spokesman Paul Parizek told a news conference. "He is definitely someone that we want to talk to."

One officer was found dead about 1 a.m. local time in Urbandale, an affluent suburb of Des Moines. The second officer was found dead about 1:30 a.m. local time in the city.

"These officers were ambushed," Parizek said, adding that they were shot while sitting in their patrol cars about 2 miles (3 km) apart.

"There is a clear and present danger to police officers right now," he said.

Area police were working in pairs for safety on Wednesday, Parizek said.

Police would not identify the slain officers, saying that they were still notifying their families, but Parizek said the names may be released by midday.

Police in Urbandale, Iowa conduct an investigation after two police officers were shot and killed in separate attacks described as
Police in Urbandale, Iowa conduct an investigation after two police officers were shot and killed in separate attacks described as "ambush-style" in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Frank
Police in Urbandale, Iowa set a blockade after two police officers were shot and killed in separate attacks described as "ambush-style" in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Frank
Police in Urbandale, Iowa conduct an investigation after two police officers were shot and killed in separate attacks described as "ambush-style" in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Frank

The apparently unprovoked attacks came two years after two New York Police Department officers were shot dead while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn, by a man who said he wanted to avenge the deaths of unarmed black men killed by police.

It was unclear what provoked Wednesday's attack, Parizek said, adding that "we may never know."

A police cruiser at the site of the Des Moines shooting was riddled with three bullet holes, according to a Reuters witness there.

"An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans," Ben Hammes, a spokesman for Governor Terry Branstand, said in a statement. "We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice."

Before the shootings in Iowa, 50 police officers had died by gunfire, two accidentally, in the line of duty in the United States this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page website.

"To see this pattern that is developing - that's what's unconscionable," said House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. "If it's a random, mentally ill person, it's one thing. But it's people consciously going out and doing this."

Wednesday's shootings come seven months after two Des Moines officers were killed when their vehicle was hit by a wrong-way drunken driver. Another Des Moines police officer died in a motorcycle accident in August.

Officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were the targets of deadly ambushes earlier this year after police killed two black men in separate incidents in a Minnesota suburb and Baton Rouge. Philadelphia police officers have been deliberately targeted by a gunman twice this year.

Reuters

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