A ‘horrible reminder of how fragile life is’: Des Moines shooting stuns Bluffs
The shootings in the Des Moines area that left two police officers dead Wednesday morning sent shockwaves throughout the state and beyond.
“This is another horrible reminder of how fragile life is, and how precious life is,” Council Bluffs Police Chief Tim Carmody said in the wake of shootings that claimed the lives of Urbandale police Officer Justin Martin, who had been with the force since 2015, and Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony “Tony” Beminio, who joined the department in 2005.
Scott Michael Greene, 46, is accused of ambushing the officers, shooting both while they sat in their patrol cruisers.
“Our hearts suffer for the communities that are affected,” Carmody said.
Asked if his officers were on high alert following the shooting, Carmody said, “incidents like this don’t change our alert level.”
“We always have to be ready; incidents like this can always happen,” he added. “We train officers on a regular basis to (be) ready for dangerous incidents like this. The sad thing is we never know when it’s going to come up.”
Carmody was one of many local and national leaders to react to the shooting.
“An attack on our public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans. Our state and our law enforcement community are hurting right now,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said in a statement. “Today is a time for mourning. Today is also a time to come together, as Iowans always do, in support of these fallen officers, their families and all those working to protect and serve in our state.”
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, called the ambush “an attack on the community at large and all of the men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us.”
“My thoughts and prayers are with the two Iowa police officers who were killed in the line of duty, as well as their families and the entire Iowa law enforcement community as they face this devastating loss,” Ernst said in a statement. “This was a senseless act of violence and it cannot be tolerated.”
Like many others, U.S. Rep. David Young, R-Iowa, called for unity following the attacks.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two officers who were killed this morning in cowardly and senseless attacks. We must stand together united as a community,” Young said in a statement. “May God bless and protect our brave men and women who serve to protect us each day.”
Officers throughout the state will wear a black-and-blue mourning band over their badges.
Carmody said the Council Bluffs department will also provide blue mourning ribbons to civilian employees. Officers and employees will honor the Des Moines officers until the day after the second funeral for the fallen officers.
The police chief commended his officers and officers nationwide for, despite the dangers inherent in the job, putting on their uniforms on Wednesday, today and into the future.
“I’m impressed with the professionalism of officers that come back after incidents like this and go back out there,” he said. “They continue to serve.”