Two police officers in the Des Moines, Iowa, are were shot and killed early Wednesday as they sat in their patrol vehicles.
“The shootings appear to have been ambush-style attacks,” police spokesman Paul Prizek said in a statement. Police have not released the identities of the fallen officers. The killings occurred 20 minutes apart, one of them in Urbandale, and the other in the state capital of Des Moines.
Here are five crucial facts about the murders:
1. The first officer was found dead at about 1:06 a.m. when police responded to a report of shots fired in the area of 70th Street and Aurora Avenue in Urbandale, according to Parizek, the police spokesman in a press release.
The scene of the first shooting at 70th and Aurora where an officer was found shot early Wed morning. Some officers in combat gear here. pic.twitter.com/SJEUY4B3gh
— Brian Powers (@bpowersphoto) November 2, 2016
Officers at the scene reportedly “found an Urbandale Police Department police officer who has been shot.”
Speaking at a press conference, Parizek said the Urbandale officer was “still seated in his vehicle and he’d been shot and killed.”
2. The second officer was found fatally shot at about 1:25 a.m. in the intersection of Merle Hay Road and Sheridan Drive, according to a statement released by the Des Moines Police.
The slain officer was found by another Des Moines officer who happened to be in the area as part of the search for the suspect in the Urbandale shooting, according to Parizek.
The officer was found alive, but pronounced dead when he was taken to a local hospital. The two crime scenes are about 2 miles apart. “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,” Parizek said.
3. Within hours, police announced that they were looking for 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, a resident of Urbandale, a Des Moines suburb. Greene is 5’11” with brown hair and green eyes, and was last known to be driving a blue 2011 Ford F-150 truck, according to police.
He was arrested in Dallas County, Iowa, about 9:30 a.m. local time, about seven hours after the shootings, KCCI-TV reports.
4. No information has been released about the two officers who were murdered. Police say they are waiting until all family has been notified.
There have been two other police killings in Des Moines this year. Two Des Moines officers, Susan Farrell and Carlos Puente-Morales, also died earlier this year when their vehicle was struck head-on by a wrong-way drunken driver. The two killings bring the number of police officers killed while on duty to four.
“I don’t even know where to begin on how bad this year is,” Sergeant Parizek said at the press conference. “This is what we do. We come in day in and day out, we go out there and provide the same level of service regardless of what’s going on in our personal and professional lives.”
The Des Moines officer is the first to be shot in the line of duty since two officers were killed in 1977. The Urbandale officer is the first in the history of the department to be shot in the line of duty.
5. Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad’s office released a statement:
“An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans. We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the police officers who were tragically killed in the line of duty as well as the officers who continue to put themselves in harm’s way.”