Dispute between Iowa men tied to shooting death and attempted murder in Ringgold County, officials say

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RINGGOLD COUNTY, Iowa — An Iowa man was arrested for attempted murder in Ringgold County Sunday night, tied to a dispute with another man who led police on a chase and fatally shot himself that same evening, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said.

Joseph Vanderflught of Kellerton is charged with two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting into a vehicle he mistook for another man’s car, injuring two people inside. Prior to the shooting, authorities say Vanderflught had been involved in an ongoing dispute with fellow Ringgold County resident Chance Newton.

On Sunday at 10:12 p.m., the Ringgold County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call indicating that Newton had displayed a gun in a threatening manner in the southern Iowa town of Kellerton, then left the area in a vehicle.

Ringgold County deputies quickly located Newton’s vehicle and attempted to pull him over, but Newton allegedly took off and led them on a high-speed chase back to Kellerton. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said Newton fired shots at a pursuing deputy during the chase and struck the deputy’s vehicle. The chase ended in Kellerton, where Newton shot himself and died, authorities said.

Ringgold County resident Chance Newton led law enforcement on a high-speed chase before fatally shooting himself in Kellerton, Iowa, on Aug. 8, 2021, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said. (WHO 13)

In a separate incident that same night, a man called 911 at 10:44 p.m. to report that he and a woman had been shot while they were driving along county road J45 in Lamoni. Vanderflught admitted in an interview with law enforcement that he shot at the vehicle because he thought it was Newton’s car, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Both victims were transported to a hospital in Des Moines and were listed in stable condition, authorities said.

Vanderflught was arrested without incident and is currently being held in the Decatur County Jail.

Joseph Vanderflught (WHO 13)

No officers were injured Sunday night. The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said none of the officers fired their weapons during the chase with Newton.

The Iowa State Patrol, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, the Ringgold County Sheriff’s Office, the Leon Police Department and the Lamoni Police Department all helped out during the incidents.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating.

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