COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — The woman being held a hostage in a shootout with officers early Wednesday morning in Council Bluffs is actually a suspect in two homicides along with the now-deceased man holding her at gunpoint, police now say.
On Thursday morning Council Bluffs Police and the Division of Criminal Investigation laid out the timeline of three seemingly isolated death investigations that they now say are all connected.
The complex investigation began on Sunday afternoon when police were called to 2103 6th Avenue in Council Bluffs on a report of a death. Police found the body of 52-year-old Jerrot Clark inside the home. He’d been killed by a single gunshot wound.
The investigation took its next turn early yesterday morning. Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Olderog spotted a truck stopped in a rural area with its headlights turned off. As Olderog attempted to initiate a traffic stop, someone in the vehicle fired a gun at the deputy and the truck fled the scene.
20 minutes later two Council Bluffs Police officers spotted the suspect truck and tried to stop it as well. Again someone in the truck fired shots back at the two officers as it tried to evade them. The chase came to an end when the truck lost control and crashed in the 1400 block of Indian Hills Road. Officers approached the vehicle but the driver, 28-year-old Troy Peterson of Essex, told them he was holding his passenger, 44-year-old April Montello-Roberts, hostage at gunpoint.
After two hours of negotiations, officers succeeded in convincing Peterson to throw one of two guns he was carrying out of the truck. Police say Peterson then became agitated as he continued to hold Montello-Roberts at gunpoint. That is when a Council Bluffs police officer fired a single shot, striking Peterson in the head and killing him. Montello-Roberts was taken from the scene to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.
Later that afternoon police were called to a third crime scene at 270 Yellow Pole Road. There they found the body of 51-year-old Steven Carlson. He had been killed by multiple gunshots.
In the course of the three investigations police say they discovered that all three were connected and that both Peterson and Montello-Roberts had killed both Clark and Carlson.
Montello-Roberts is now charged with two counts of First Degree Murder for the deaths of Clark and Carlson, two counts of Attempted Murder for firing at the two officers, and single counts of Robbery and Burglary.
No officers were injured. Police say the investigation is still ongoing. They do not plan to release any crime scene photos or videos from the incidents until trial.