Latest: Man describes confrontations with shooting suspect

AP News
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Posted: Nov 02, 2016 7:09 PM
Latest: Man describes confrontations with shooting suspect

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Latest on two officers in the Des Moines, Iowa, area who were killed in what authorities describe as ambush-style attacks (all times local):

6 p.m.

A man says he had two recent confrontations with the man police believe ambushed and fatally shot two Des Moines-area police officers.

Ardis Gardner, who is black, says Scott Michael Greene, who is white, waved a Confederate flag during the national anthem at the group of black parents he was sitting with at an Urbandale High School football game Oct. 14.

Gardner says after Greene refused to stop, he snatched the flag from Greene's hand and threw it on the ground. Off-duty police officers removed Greene from the stadium.

Gardner says a week later Greene followed him and a group of black parents into another football game with a dog that was wearing a gun holster and a Confederate flag vest, and he again sat nearby.

Gardner's 17-year-old son plays for Urbandale.

Gardner recalls believing Greene was stalking him at the games and says: "I'm thinking something is wrong with this dude."

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5 p.m.

President Barack Obama is offering condolences to the families of two Iowa police officers who were killed during what Obama calls "shameful acts of violence."

Obama says in a written statement that Sgt. Anthony Beminio and Officer Justin Martin embodied the most decent human instinct: to put themselves in harm's way for someone else.

Authorities say a white man with a history of racial provocations and confrontations with police ambushed the officers in separate attacks Wednesday as they sat in their patrol cars. Beminio worked for the Des Moines police department. Martin was employed in Urbandale.

Forty-six-year-old Scott Michael Greene was taken into custody after the killings.

Obama says the country owes its respect and gratitude to police officers who go to work every day not knowing whether they'll come home.

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3 p.m.

Residents have been placing flowers and cards on police cruisers set up at memorials outside the Des Moines and Urbandale police departments.

Samantha Hooker brought flowers Wednesday to the growing memorial outside of the Urbandale police headquarters. Hooker, of Urbandale, says she lives near where Urbandale officer Justin Martin was shot and heard police sirens in the early morning hours Wednesday.

Hooker says she decided to bring roses to the memorial because, "I just felt bad about the friends and family of this police officer."

She mentioned the police shootings that have happened around the country and added: "I'm so scared that nobody is going to take care of us anymore."

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12:35 p.m.

An Iowa college says two Des Moines-area police officers who were ambushed and killed were both graduates of its criminal justice program.

Simpson College President Jay Simmons says the deaths of Des Moines Sgt. Anthony Beminio and Urbandale officer Justin Martin are tragic and the loss is "almost too much to bear."

Police say a white man with a history of racial provocations and confrontations with police killed the two officers in separate incidents early Wednesday.

Beminio graduated from Simpson College in Indianola in 2001 and played football.

Martin graduated last year. Professor Fred Jones remembers him as a "kind, gentle, compassionate man" who went into police work because he wanted to serve the public. Martin had interned at the Urbandale Police Department during his senior year.

Simpson's wrestling team will wear blue socks to honor the officers at its meet Thursday.

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12:30 p.m.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch has strongly condemned the killings of two Des Moines area police officers.

Lynch says the shootings early Wednesday are the latest in a "series of senseless attacks" and that "violence has no place in the United States of America."

She says violence is "especially intolerable" when it's directed at law enforcement officers who risk their lives to protect the public.

The shootings follow the fatal ambushes this summer of officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Lynch says the Justice Department is determined to give officers the tools they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.

Scott Michael Greene is suspected in the fatal shootings of Urbandale officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio. Greene surrendered late Wednesday morning to a state employee.

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11:45 a.m.

Police have confirmed that weeks before a man was apprehended as a suspect in the killings of two Des Moines area police officers, he was removed from a high school football game because he displayed a Confederate flag during the national anthem.

Urbandale Police Chief Ross McCarty told reporters that Urbandale officers removed Scott Michael Greene from the football game. McCarty says some spectators complained after Greene waved the flag in front of spectators who are minorities.

Greene shot a video of the Oct. 14 incident that he posted online.

He complained to officers that his constitutional rights were being violated because they were throwing him out, but police told him he was on private property and needed to leave.

Greene is suspected in the shooting deaths of Urbandale officer Justin Martin and Des Moines Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio.

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11:20 a.m.

Police say a man suspected in the killings to two Des Moines area officers surrendered to a state Department of Natural Resources officer.

Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek says Scott Michael Greene flagged down the officer Wednesday morning in rural Dallas County, west of Des Moines, and presented his identification.

He was taken into custody and is now being treated at a Des Moines hospital.

Greene is suspected in the shooting deaths of Urbandale officer Justin Martin, with the force since 2015, and Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio, who joined the department in Des Moines in 2005.

Martin was single. Beminio was married with children.

Parizek says Greene is suspected in the killings but hasn't yet been charged.

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10:40 a.m.

The 66-year-old mother of the suspect in the killing of two Iowa police officers was arrested two weeks ago accused of assaulting her son.

A criminal complaint shows Patricia Greene yelled at her son, Scott Michael Greene, to remove his daughter's service dog from her house Oct. 17.

The complaint says Scott Greene was wearing his deceased father's dog tags and that his mother tried to tear them from around his neck. Greene grabbed his mother's hand and she hit and scratched his face.

Scott Greene showed an officer cellphone video of the confrontation.

His mother was released on a $1,000 cash bond and a judge ordered that she have no contact with her son. She is due in court on the charge later this month.

The complaint doesn't say why Greene's daughter has a service dog.

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9:40 a.m.

Police say the suspect in the killings of two Des Moines area police officers is in custody.

Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek says Scott Michael Greene was taken into custody without incident Wednesday morning in Dallas County, just west of Des Moines.

Greene is suspected in the killing of a Des Moines police officer and an Urbandale police officer earlier Wednesday.

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9:15 a.m.

The man wanted in connection with the killing of two Des Moines area police officers has a record of confrontation with police and others.

Iowa court records show 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, of Urbandale, was jailed and charged with interference with official acts after resisting Urbandale police officers trying to pat him down for a weapon on April 10, 2014. A complaint signed by an Urbandale officer says Greene resisted verbal commands, was hostile and combative. It says he was known to be armed. He entered a guilty plea and was fined.

Two days later Urbandale police were called to answer a complaint of harassment at the apartment complex where Greene lived. The complaint says he threatened to kill another man during a confrontation in the parking lot. He was charged with harassment, pleaded guilty and received a suspended jail sentence and a year of probation.

Records show he completed a court-ordered substance abuse and psychological evaluation.

Des Moines police say Greene is a suspect in the shootings early Wednesday in Des Moines and the suburb of Urbandale.

9 a.m.

Police say a "series of leads and investigative tips" led them to identify a suspect in the killing of two Des Moines area police officers.

Des Moines Sgt. Paul Parizek wouldn't give details about how investigators determined 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, of Urbandale, was a suspect in the separate shootings early Wednesday in Des Moines and the suburb of Urbandale.

Parizek says officers don't know where Greene is located.

Police have closed long stretches of the roads, about two miles apart, where the officers were found in their cars.

The Urbandale officer was dead at the scene and the Des Moines officer died at a hospital.

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7:40 a.m.

Police say they have identified a suspect in the early morning killing of two Des Moines area police officers, warning he is likely armed and should be considered dangerous.

Police said in a statement Wednesday that they are hunting for 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, of Urbandale.

He is described as white, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 180 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. He was last known to be driving a blue 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck with Iowa license plates 780 YFR.

The truck is equipped with a ladder rack.

Investigators identified Greene as a suspect as they scrambled to respond to the killings of officers in Urbandale and Des Moines in separate shootings.

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5:10 a.m.

Police in Des Moines, Iowa, say two officers who were killed in ambush-style attacks were both shot while they were sitting in their patrol cars.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said Wednesday that authorities are developing suspect information but there was nothing that authorities were ready to share with the public.

Parizek was emotional during a news conference. He says there is "clearly danger" right now for police officers in the area because the officers were gunned down while sitting in their cars doing nothing wrong. He says the department has doubled up its officers to better protect them.

The first officer, an Urbandale officer, was shot about 1:06 a.m. About 20 minutes later, a Des Moines officer was found shot about 2 miles away.

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4:50 a.m.

Authorities say two police officers in the Des Moines, Iowa, area were shot to death in ambush-style attacks about 2 miles apart.

The Des Moines Police Department said in a news release that officers responded to a report of shots fired at about 1:06 a.m. and found an Urbandale Police Department officer who had been shot.

Des Moines officers responded to help. About 20 minutes later, a Des Moines officer was found shot about 2 miles away. Both officers have died.

The Des Moines Police Department said suspect information is being developed. The agency didn't immediately release any other information but said a news conference was planned for 5 a.m.

Urbandale is a city in the Des Moines metro area.

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4:30 a.m.

Police in Des Moines, Iowa, say two officers have been shot and killed in ambush-style attacks.

The Des Moines Police Department said in a news release that the shootings took place early Wednesday. Officers responded to a report of shots fired at about 1:06 a.m. and found an Urbandale Police Department officer who had been shot.

Des Moines officers responded to assist. About 20 minutes later, a Des Moines officer was found shot. Both officers have died.

The Des Moines Police Department said suspect information is being developed. The agency didn't immediately release any other information but said a news conference was planned for 5 a.m.