Suspect in Iowa police slayings still in hospital

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 03, 2016 10:39 AM

(Reuters) - An Iowa man suspected of killing two police officers in separate gun attacks as they sat in their squad cars remained in the hospital on Thursday for treatment of an existing medical condition and has not yet been charged, a police spokesman said.

Scott Michael Greene, 46, was arrested after turning himself in to authorities hours after the shootings early on Wednesday in Des Moines and the city's suburb of Urbandale.

"He's still at the area hospital, and I cannot release any medical information at this time," said Urbandale Police Department spokesman Sergeant Chad Underwood.

The body of the first victim, Urbandale officer Justin Martin, 24, was found in his cruiser near the local high school where Greene was expelled by police last month after waving a Confederate flag during a football game.

The body of Des Moines Police Department Sergeant Anthony Bemino, 38, was discovered some 20 minutes later about 2 miles (3 km) away.

The shootings were the latest in a string of attacks on police across the country during the past several months, at a time of intense public debate over racial bias and the use of lethal force in the U.S. criminal justice system.

However, Greene is white, as were both of the victims in Wednesday's shootings.

Urbandale Police Chief Ross McCarty said on Wednesday that most of his officers were familiar with Greene. [nL1N1D317J]

In 2014, Greene pleaded guilty to interference with official acts in an incident involving police. The same year, he also pleaded guilty to harassment and was placed on probation for a year. Court records did not specify the nature of the underlying offenses.

Greene, who said in a 2007 bankruptcy filing that he was single with three children, was charged in 2001 with assault and criminal mischief for allegedly hurling a soda can from the window of a vehicle, but those charges were dismissed.

The Des Moines Register, citing neighbors and court records, reported that Green had been living with his mother, who moved out of the house after a recent fight with her son that led to her being charged with misdemeanor domestic abuse.

(Reporting by Gina Cherelus; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)