DES MOINES, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement on the death of Sgt. Jim Smith, the Iowa State Patrol trooper killed in the line of duty in Grundy Center on Friday.
“It’s with deep sorrow that we recognize the loss of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, a courageous hero who died in the line of duty,” said Reynolds. “Sgt. Jim Smith was a loving husband, father of two, and a pillar of the community. I along with the entire state of Iowa grieve for his family and friends as they try to cope with this devastating loss. Today we are once again reminded of the selfless sacrifices the brave men and women in uniform make. Let us never forget their bravery and that of their loved ones.”
Reynolds ordered all flags in Iowa to be flown at half-staff on the day of Smith’s funeral. A date has not yet been announced.
Smith, a 27-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol, was shot and killed attempting to arrest 41-year-old Michael Thomas Lang, who barricaded himself inside his residence after a police chase Friday night, authorities said. Lang is charged with first-degree murder for Smith’s death and is currently hospitalized after getting shot multiple times by law enforcement.
“Sgt. Jim Smith died a hero,” said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens. “He sacrificed himself protecting others.”
Smith is the 11th trooper to die in the line of duty in the history of the Iowa State Patrol. He is just the second trooper to be fatally shot in the line of duty, according to law enforcement records. The only other Iowa trooper to be shot and killed was Oran “Nanny” Pape in 1936.