STUART, Iowa – Two Guthrie County Sheriff’s deputies are stable after being shot Thursday night while trying to serve an arrest warrant in Stuart. Someone inside the apartment where the warrant was being served was also shot.
Law enforcement held a news conference early Friday morning to release details of the incident. Adam DeCamp the Special Agent in Charge for the Iowa Department of Public Safety said three Guthrie County Sheriff’s deputies and one Stuart Police officer were serving an arrest warrant at 615 SW 7th Street, #1 at 10:40 p.m. and just a few minutes later an officer reported shots had been fired.
DeCamp said it took about an hour and a half from the first call of the shooting before the scene was completely secure. During that time law enforcement was able to negotiate with someone inside the apartment and get him to surrender.
Officials say there is no threat to the public in connection with the shooting.
Two of the deputies, as well as an occupant in the apartment, suffered gunshot wounds DeCamp said. A third deputy was injured in the incident but was not shot.
None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening and DeCamp said everyone is stable.
The deputies are being treated at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center. Gregg Lagan with MercyOne Des Moines said one deputy suffering from gunshot wounds was transported by helicopter and arrived at the hospital at 11:33 p.m. Thursday night. A second deputy was transported by ambulance and arrived at the hospital at 12:10 a.m. Friday morning.
A Stuart police officer was taken by a private vehicle to MercyOne Des Moines. Lagan said the deputy was close enough to the action to received injury from gun powder burn. That deputy has been treated and released. The other two deputies with gunshot injuries are still admitted but in stable condition and are being treated by what Lagan called a traditional surgical department.
“They make the decisions on who is going to be flown or driven or what equipment is needed based on assessments that are made at the scene by those that are providing care,” Lagan said. “Once those individuals were here they were quickly seen by a trauma team. We actually had two separate trauma teams for both of the deputies and then a physician was able to care for the third individual with a non gun shot injury.”
The occupant of the apartment who was also shot is not at MercyOne Des Moines.
DeCamp said the names of the officers and the occupant of the apartment who were shot will not be released at this time. Details about the arrest warrant and who it was for were also not released, but DeCamp says they will be later.
“It will be released. We’re not releasing it now. That’s all part of our investigation. We want to make sure our information is 100% accurate. Right now, we have half a dozen agents out running, following leads, doing interviews…making sure the information we give is accurate,” said DeCamp.
Law enforcement dispatcher audio from Guthrie County during the incident illustrates the concern for other officers responding to the scene, “You guys be careful, we don’t know what the situation is out there. We’ve got two officers shot, two officers down.”
Stuart Police Chief Dave Riha spoke about how the members of the departments involved are handling the situation, “I mean it’s tough. We’re all small agencies, we work together all the time. This hurts all of us.”
The list of law enforcement agencies that responded to assist is a long one. Officials say there were personnel from Adair, Audubon, Dallas, Cass, Greene, and Shelby counties as well as officers from Creston, Harlan and the Iowa State Patrol.
Officials have not yet confirmed the names of those involved but here’s what we know — the address of the shooting is 615 SW 7th Street, #1.
According to an August criminal complaint, 52-year-old Randall Comly lives at that same apartment and he had an active arrest warrant.
Comly is no stranger to law enforcement and has several felony convictions on his record. Back in August, he was arrested in the town of Casey on burglary and several firearm charges.
Witnesses say Comly broke into a home and began yelling at people inside before threatening a man and firing a shot above his head. Officers had to use force to take him into custody.
Comly has also been convicted of at least five felony drug charges over the past 18 years.
Check back to WHOtv.com as we update this story with more details as they are made available.