News by VICE

Suspect arrested in ambush-style shooting of Iowa police officers

by Isabella Mackie and Keegan Hamilton
Nov 2 2016, 9:07am

UPDATE (11:45 a.m.): Iowa police have arrested a man suspected of gunning down two police officers early Wednesday morning in a pair of “ambush-style” attacks.

Police say 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene was arrested without a struggle at about 9:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday in Dallas County, Iowa. Local law enforcement had identified Greene as a suspect hours earlier in the separate killings of two police officers in Des Moines and the nearby community of Urbandale. Greene was captured by an officer from the state’s Department of Natural Resources and is now in the custody of the Iowa State Patrol.

Greene had had several previous encounters with police officers in Urbandale, according to the Des Moines Register. The paper reported that Greene was charged in April 2014 with a misdemeanor count of interference after he resisted an attempt by police to search him for weapons.

Court records reportedly indicate Greene was also arrested and charged in 2014 with first-degree harassment after he used the N-word and threatened to kill a man in Urbandale. He eventually pleaded guilty to the interference charge and to a lesser harassment charge, according to the Register.

Greene also appears to have left a trail on social media. Police said they are investigating a video posted Oct. 14 to YouTube by an account with Greene’s name. The video — titled “Police Abuse, Civil Rights Violation at Urbandale High School 10/14/16” — shows a confrontation with several police officers at a youth sports event.

Original post continues below:

Two police officers in the Des Moines, Iowa, area
were shot and killed in the early-morning hours Wednesday in separate “ambush-style” attacks, according to statements by area police. The officers were found in their patrol cars in different locations when police responded to reports of shots fired in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines.

The first police officer was discovered dead just after 1 a.m. central time, according to a statement released by Des Moines police, and the second officer at around 1:30 a.m. — just a five-minute drive away.

The suspect in both shootings has been named as Scott Michael Greene, according to a release posted on the Urbandale Police Department’s Facebook page. BuzzFeed obtained a photo of Greene:

The Des Moines Register reports that police officers have been paired up in the hours since the shooting to ensure they are not alone on patrol.

At a news conference on the killings, Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said the officers were found in their patrol cars and there did not appear to be any obvious connection between the two colleagues and their attacker. “On the surface, it doesn’t look like there was any interaction between these officers and whoever the coward is who shot them while they sat in their cars.”

Schools in the area are closed for the day as police search for the perpetrator. Sgt. Parizek warned of a “clear and present danger” for police officers, alluding to recent tensions in community-police relations across the country: “We’re very well aware of the society that we’re living in right now and the time. And that there are some not-so-positive views of law enforcement that a segment of our population holds.”