An urgent manhunt is underway for a suspect who shot and killed two police officers “ambush style” in Des Moines, Iowa early Wednesday morning.
According to the Des Moines Dispatch, authorities have identified the suspect in the deadly shootings as 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene. He is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Police responded to reports of shots fired around 1:06 a.m. and found an Urbandale officer shot to death. Then, around 1:26 a.m., another officer was shot and killed while responding to the scene where the first officer was gunned down.
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
Both officers were shot while sitting in their patrol cars, Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said in a press release. The identities of the slain officers have not been revealed.
The Des Moines Register reports that the attacks appeared to specifically target police. Out of concern for the safety of other cops in the line of duty, Parizek said the Des Moines Police Department has paired up its patrol officers so no one officer is out patrolling alone. Police in Urbandale have taken similar precautions.
“We hope we find [Greene] before anybody else gets hurt,” the police sergeant said. “We definitely don’t want anybody in the public, here in the community to get hurt, but there’s a clear and present danger to police officers right now and we’ve doubled up our officers.”
At one point, Parizek alluded to the deep rifts between police and communities across the country.
“We are very well aware of the society that we’re living in and the time,” he said. “And that there are some not so positive views of law enforcement that a segment of our population holds.”
In an early morning news release, authorities described Greene as a 46-year-old male who stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs about 180 pounds, and has brown hair and green eyes. He was last seen driving driving a blue 2011 Ford F-150 with Iowa license plate 780 YFR.
Authorities urged the public to call 911 if they spot him, but warned not to approach him. The motive behind Greene’s attack is still unknown.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad released a statement on the deadly ambush Wednesday morning:
“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. 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.”
Police are now investigating a Youtube video showing Greene arguing with Des Moines police officers outside an Urbandale high school football game on Oct. 14.
Greene claimed he was assaulted by a group of African-Americans after he waved a Confederate flag during the singing of the National Anthem. Police ultimately asked Greene to leave he premises after receiving several complaints he was causing a disturbance in the stands.
“I was offended by the blacks sitting through our anthem,” Greene said. “Thousands more whites fought and died for their freedom. However this is not about the Armed forces, they are cop haters.”
Scott Michael Greene has been taken into custody, according to Urbandale police spokesman Sgt. Chad Underwood. Authorities said he surrendered to a Department of Natural Resources officer and was arrested without incident.
Please check back for updates.