Officers Killed Iowa

Two Des Moines-area police officers were shot to death early Wednesday in ambush-style attacks while they were sitting in their patrol cars, authorities said.

Police said they captured the man suspected in the killings, identified as Scott Michael Greene, 46.

Des Moines and Urbandale police previously described Greene as armed and dangerous and urged members of the public not to approach him.

Police did not explain how they identified Greene as a suspect.

Officers responded to a report of shots fired shortly after 1 a.m. and found an Urbandale Police Department officer who had been shot.

At that point, authorities from several agencies saturated the area. About 20 minutes after finding the first officer, they discovered a Des Moines officer shot to death in a patrol car at an intersection about two miles away. Both shootings took place along main streets that cut through residential areas, according to Des Moines Sgt. Paul Parizek.

At a news conference prior to Greene’s capture, an emotional Parizek said: "There's somebody out there shooting police officers. We hope to find him before somebody else gets hurt." 

The names of the slain officers’ names were not immediately released.

Greene has a record of confrontation with police and others.

According to Iowa court records, Greene, of Urbandale, was jailed and charged with interference with official acts after resisting Urbandale police officers trying to pat him down for a weapon on April 10, 2014. A complaint signed by an Urbandale officer says Greene resisted verbal commands and was hostile and combative. It says he was known to be armed. He entered a guilty plea and was fined.

Two days later, Urbandale police were called to Greene’s apartment complex, where another man told them Greene threatened to kill him during a confrontation in the parking lot. Greene was charged with harassment, pleaded guilty and received a suspended jail sentence and a year of probation.

Records show he completed a court-ordered substance abuse and psychological evaluation.

Urbandale Sgt. Chad Underwood said he believed this was the first time an officer in his department had been shot in the line of duty.

Urbandale officers are equipped with body cameras, Underwood said, but they don't run constantly, and it was unclear whether there was video of either shooting.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement Wednesday morning saying the state’s Department of Public Safety was working with local law enforcement in the investigation.

“An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans,” the statement said. “We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice.”

The shootings follow a spate of police killings this year, including ambushes of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La. Five officers were killed in Dallas on July 7, and three were killed later that month in Baton Rouge.

During Wednesday’s search, officers conducted patrols in pairs for protection.

Urbandale is a suburb of about 40,000 people in the Des Moines metro area with about 50 officers. Officials in Urbandale canceled school for the day.

Des Moines has about 375 sworn officers.