A suspect was arrested Wednesday morning in the killing of two Des Moines-area officers slain in separate “ambush-style attacks” while sitting in their cars, Iowa authorities said.
Scott Michael Greene, 46, was captured in nearby Dallas County amid a manhunt following the early-morning shootings, Des Moines Police Lt. Chris Scott told NBC News. He was being transported back to Des Moines for questioning.
Earlier, police described Greene, of the Des Moines suburb of Ubrandale, as armed and dangerous, and said he posed a “clear and present danger to police officers.”
Sgt. Paul Parizek, a Des Moines police spokesman, said there did “not appear that there was any interaction between these officers and the coward who shot them.”
Parizek, who said the officers “were gunned down when they were sitting in their car,” added that his colleagues were travelling in pairs for their own safety.
The victims’ names were not immediately released.
“These were our friends. They were our co-workers,” said Parizek, adding, “We’re heartbroken.”
n an earlier statement, the Des Moines Police Department said the first officer was found dead at around 1:06 a.m. CT (2:06 a.m. ET) in Urbandale, which also has its own force.
A second officer’s body was located in Des Moines at 1:26 a.m. CT (2:26 a.m. ET), it added. The officer died shortly after being taken to hospital.
“The shootings appear to have been ambush-style attacks,” the statement said.
It added that “suspect information is being developed at this time.”
The Urbandale shooting took place near Urbandale High School, and the school district announced Wednesday it was canceling classes.
The local community was already mourning the loss of two other Des Moines officers who died in a car crash while on duty on March 26.
“I don’t even know where to begin, how bad this year is,” Parizek added.
He also referred to tensions across the country and that some people have “not-so-positive views of law enforcement.”
The July 7 sniper killing of five officers in Dallas during a peaceful protest highlighted the deadly danger many officers face at work on a daily basis.
“An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans,” Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. “We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice.”
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, this marks the third Des Moines police officer to be killed in 2016.