PERRY, Iowa – A shooting early Tuesday morning in Perry injured the city’s Police Chief, Eric Vaughn, and a suspect has been taken into custody.
Law enforcement officials held a news conference to release information about what led to the shooting and provide the good news that Chief Vaughn is expected to be okay.
The incident began just before 5:00 a.m. when Perry police officers responded to a report that someone had shot out the back window of a vehicle on the east side of town, according to Chief Deputy Adam Infante with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office. They identified the suspect in that as 30-year-old Jeremiah Messner of Perry.
Deputies from the Dallas County Sherriff’s Office arrived to assist in the search for Messner and he was located between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. Officers and deputies negotiated with Messner, who was armed with a handgun, in what was described as a “rolling standoff” along the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
In order to get Messner to put the gun down, shortly after 7:00 a.m. the negotiators offered up a lighter and Messner put the gun down to retrieve the lighter. As officers moved in to arrest him, he made it back to the gun and during a struggle, shot Chief Vaughn at close range in the upper thigh.
Infante says officers then used tasers on Messner in order to take him into custody.
Chief Vaughn was transported to a Des Moines hospital via air ambulance for treatment.
“He’s currently doing well, he’s in good spirits, and he’s expected to be released tomorrow. So, very fortunate at this time that that’s all that really happened,” said Sgt. Jim Archer with the Perry Police Department.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation will be handling the case since it involves the shooting of a police officer. The DCI announced Tuesday that Messner has been charged with Attempted Murder, Possession of a Firearm by a Prohibited Person, Going Armed with Intent, and Trafficking Stolen Weapons.