Police: Iowa man charged in random shootings

AP News
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Posted: Nov 17, 2014 8:05 PM

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) — A man with a handgun randomly targeted people while driving through a Des Moines suburb early Monday, shooting and injuring two men at separate locations and prompting several schools to tell students to stay home, authorities said.

Pete Jason Polson, 32, was taken into custody shortly after three shootings within 12 minutes were reported just after 6:30 a.m., Pleasant Hill police spokesman Adam Choat said. Online records show Polson faces two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault-willful injury, one count of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and one count of possession of a weapon as a felon.

Polson is being held at the Polk County jail on $85,000 cash or surety bond. Court records do not list an attorney for him.

"He's uncooperative with us," Sgt. Paul Brown said of Polson following his arrest. "He won't talk to us."

Two men were hospitalized in the shootings — one was shot near a home, the other near his vehicle. A third man was shot at but not injured.

"At this time it seems random," Choat said during a news conference. "The third location, he just pulled up and started firing on someone who was delivering a school book bag to his kid. ... Nobody was hit and he took off."

The victims' conditions haven't been released. Police would only say both men are in stable condition.

The suspect was driving a green SUV that has been linked to all the shootings, authorities said. He was taken into custody without incident, and Choat said a motive remains under investigation.

The shootings led the Southeast Polk Community School District to cancel classes Monday. Choat said there appears to be no link between the shootings and earlier threats made on social media against a local high school.

Superintendent Craig Menozzi said classes likely will resume Tuesday with more security, and that all school district buildings will be searched by law enforcement as a precaution.

"We're going to make sure as we reopen our schools that we'll have a law enforcement presence," Menozzi said.