Stuart, IA – Two Guthrie County sheriff’s deputies were shot, and a third deputy and one civilian were injured, after police attempted to serve an arrest warrant at an apartment complex on Thursday night.
The incident began at approximately 10:40 p.m. on Oct. 17 when three Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) and one Stuart Police Department (SPD) officer attempted to serve an arrest warrant at an apartment in the 600-block of Southwest Seventh Street, WHO reported.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Adam DeCamp said during a 5 a.m. press conference that within three minutes of their arrival at the residence, someone inside the home opened fire on the officers using a handgun.
Two deputies were hit by the gunman’s bullets, and a third deputy was injured by a “non-gunshot wound,” Agent DeCamp told reporters.
One individual inside the residence was also struck by gunfire.
It was unclear whether or not law enforcement returned fire, Agent DeCamp said.
"You guys be careful, we don't know what the situation is out there,” a dispatcher told additional units as they responded to the scene, according to WHO. “We've got two officers shot, two officers down."
Agent DeCamp said the attack triggered a 90-minute standoff and an enormous law enforcement response.
“Law enforcement officers from local, county, and state agencies in the area responded and were able to secure the scene without further incident," he explained. "Officers negotiated with one of the occupants of the apartments, getting him to leave the apartment and surrender."
The wounded and injured law enforcement officers and citizen were rushed to local hospitals and are expected to recover.
“They’re doing well,” GCSO Deputy Jeremy Bennett said, according to the Des Moines Register. “"We had good backup and we want to thank all the other agencies that showed up to support us today. We had quite the outpouring of officers.”
Stuart Police Chief David Reha said the situation was especially difficult because the officers involved in the shooting and standoff work together on a daily basis.
“It’s tough,” he said. “"We’re all small agencies. We work together all the time. This hurts all of us."
The investigation into the attack is ongoing and remains unclear how many people were inside the residence when the gunman opened fire.
Agent DeCamp said he expected that the suspect’s identity would be released by Saturday, according to the Des Moines Register.
“This is what law enforcement officers face on a daily basis. They don't know what’s on the other side of the door, they don't know what anyone else’s intentions are," the agent said. "They’re forced to make a split-second decision and these officers in an effort to protect their community and do what they thought was right, were ultimately shot in the line of duty.”
"We like the community to be aware of that and understand the situation that these law enforcement officers are in,” Agent DeCamp added.