Two Iowa police officers killed in 'ambush-style' attacks

Two metro-area police officers in Iowa were shot and killed in an apparent "ambush-style" attacks early Wednesday.

Two metro-area police officers in Iowa were shot and killed in an apparent "ambush-style" attacks early Wednesday.

Police from Urbandale and Des Moines departments responded to a report of gunfire at the intersection of 70th Street and Aurora Avenue at about 1:06 a.m. CT.

The first officers arriving on the scene found an Urbandale officer shot. The officer, whose name has not been released, died, said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek in a news release.

At about 1:26 a.m. CT, a Des Moines police officer was shot and killed near the intersection of Merle Hay Road and Sheridan Drive. The officer's name has not been released.

Both officers were gunned down in their patrol cars.

The police departments are wary of officers' safety, as the attack appeared targeted at officers. Des Moines Police has paired up its patrol officers so no officer is on patrol alone, Parizek said.

"There's literally a clear and present danger if you're a police officer," he said.

As of a 5 a.m. CT press conference, police were still notifying the family members of the slain officers and planned to withhold the officers' names, years of service and other details until later in the day, Parizek said.

Streets at both shooting scenes are closed as officers investigate, and classes have been canceled at Urbandale schools today. In Urbandale, the intersection of 70th Street and Aurora Avenue is closed, and in Des Moines, Merle Hay Road is closed between Urbandale Avenue and Hickman Road.

Police had no information on suspects as of 5 a.m CT. They could not say how many shots were fired or how many people may have been shooting.

For Des Moines, this is the first police officer shot and killed in the line of duty since two officers were gunned down in separate incidents in 1977.

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.

This is likely the first Urbandale officer shot in the line of duty, Urbandale Police spokesman Sgt. Chad Underwood said at the press conference.

Parizek thanked the community for its support when the department lost Farrell and Puente-Morales, as well as with this tragedy.

"I don't even know where to begin on how bad this year is," he said. But, "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."

This story will be updated.

This story originally appeared on The Des Moines Register’s website.


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