Archive for the ‘IA’ Category

Iowa: Clerk’s gun scares off would-be robber

June 25, 2009

Des Moines, Iowa

From the Des Moines Register of June 25, 2009

Clerk’s gun scares off would-be robber

Dominic Mathew had always felt it was better to give an armed robber what they asked for.

His philosophy changed after his Food Pantry store on Lower Beaver Road was held up several times, one time with a thief behind the counter and holding a gun to his neck.

He got a handgun.

On Tuesday, the third time the store was held up, he and a robber were in a face-off with their weapons.

“The guy came in from the side (of the store)” and walked in the front door, Mathew said. “That’s where they usually come from. The guy came in with a hoodie on. It was awfully warm on Tuesday, too warm for a hoodie.”

Mathew, 30, already had his gun drawn when the robber walked in, he said. The suspect lowered his gun immediately upon seeing the handgun.

The would-be robber ran out the door.

“I didn’t want to get to this point,” said Mathew. “But there have been a lot of robberies. Times are tough. A lot of people are out of work.”

Police Chief Judy Bradshaw said detectives are still investigating. She said clerks can make a situation more dangerous by adding a second gun to the equation.

“Robbers don’t want to shoot,” Bradshaw said. “They want what they came for. From a public safety perspective there are so many more possible outcomes when clerks arm themselves.”

On Tuesday three other convenience stores in the city reported thefts from cash registers. None of them were armed robberies. One man has been arrested and charged with all three incidents.

The armed robber who tried to steal from Mathew has not been caught.


Iowa: Dog Attacks Boy, Town Mayor Shoots Dog

July 9, 2008

Pierson, Iowa

From KPTH of July 7, 2008

Dog Attacks Boy, Town Mayor Shoots Dog

A Pierson, Iowa, boy was taken to a Sioux City hospital after being attacked by a dog. The 9-year-old boy was riding on his bike outside the Pierson post office when the dog, a brown pit bull mix, bit him on the ankle. He was taken by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center, where he had to get stitches.

After receiving a call about the attack, the mayor went home to grab a gun, then went and shot the dog. It was a decision he says he made to protect other kids in the neighborhood.

“It evidently got out of its kennel and then attacked this child and I actually didn’t want to encounter it doing something to another one,” says Pierson Mayor Max Dunnington.

The Woodbury County sheriff’s office is investigating this case. The dog’s owner wasn’t available for comment.

Des Moines Homeowner Confronts Burglar

May 17, 2008

Des Moines, Iowa

From the May 14, 2008 Des Moines Register:

This was Randy Owens’ situation Tuesday: He had a gun in his hand and a cane-wielding burglar cornered in his garage.

Now what?

He decided to do whatever he could to stall the man until Des Moines police arrived.

The burglar gambled that Owens, 42, wouldn’t shoot him. And he was right. In the end, Owens watched the man walk into the early morning darkness and disappear.

“I didn’t shoot him, because there was nothing in here that was worth a man’s life,” Owens said. “I really wasn’t in fear for my life. I think he just wanted out, and I gave him a way out.”

Last fall, burglars took Owens’ boat out of his backyard in the 1500 block of East 21st Street. They picked it up and passed it over a fence. So when a motion alarm sounded about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Owens grabbed his handgun and went to the garage, where he discovered the door had been kicked in.

“I walked in real slow and easy,” said Owens, a food service coordinator for the Iowa Department of Corrections in Newton. “I found him hiding in the corner under the workbench. He had my grinder all rolled up and my welder unplugged, and he was getting ready to go out the door with them.”

The burglar said he had a wife and two kids. He said didn’t want to go to jail. He walked toward Owens.

“Stop right there. I’ve got a gun,” Owens told him. Owens told the man to get on the floor.

“He took his cane and tried to hit me with it,” Owens said. “I blocked it with my arm. I cocked my weapon, and he lunged at me and tried to take it from me. I shot at the furnace to let him know it was a real weapon.”

The burglar managed to squeeze out of the crowded garage and vanish.

“I do think that if I hadn’t had the gun, he might have beaten the tar out of me with the cane,” said Owens, who wore a brace on his injured arm later in the day.

Sgt. Vince Valdez of the Des Moines Police Department said Owens “exercised unusual restraint after he’d been attacked with the cane. … At that point he’s being assaulted by a burglar.”

Iowa: Des Moines bar owner shoots and kills robber

May 5, 2008

Des Moines, Iowa

From Radio Iowa of May 1, 2008

Des Moines bar owner shoots and kills robber

Des Moines police say a would-be robber was shot to death by the owner of a tavern early this morning, and a second robber was seriously injured. Police Sergeant Vince Valdez says officers were called to El Zacatecas Club before three A.M. where a brawl was underway outside a video store next door.

Valdez says: “When the officers arrived they found two men down on the ground struggling in the parking lot of the video store. Both were injured.” He says officers had to determine who was who in the situation very quickly.

Valdez says the bar’s owner, Martin Ramirez, was holding down the second man, claiming that man had tried to rob him along with another man who was still in the bar. Officers went inside and found a badly wounded man who had been shot. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. He’s identified as 32-year-old Nicomedes Vazquez of Des Moines.

The man with whom Ramirez was fighting in the parking lot is identified as 24-year-old Angel Nungaray of Indianola. He was listed in serious condition. It’s unclear if Nungaray had also been shot. Ramirez was treated for his injuries and released. As yet, no charges have been filed.

Iowa: Pizza Man Shoots Would-Be Robber

March 28, 2008

Des Moines, Iowa

From WHBF of March 28, 2008

Pizza Man Shoots Would-Be Robber

Police say a pizza delivery man shot an attempted robber in Des Moines.

Officials say they received a call late Thursday from the delivery man, saying another man tried to rob him at gunpoint. Police say the delivery man shot the alleged robber.

Another call came in to authorities reporting a man was shot on the second floor of an apartment building.

Authorities say the man who was shot was in serious condition at a nearby hospital. The delivery man surrendered to police at the scene. The investigation is continuing.

September 9, 2007

Council Bluffs, Iowa

From the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil of September 9, 2007

Intruder holds gun to man’s head, flees home

Gunshots were allegedly fired as an intruder fled a Council Bluffs residence early Saturday morning.

According to a Council Bluffs Police Department report, an unidentified suspect entered the residence of Josh Konfrst, 21, about 2 a.m. and held a handgun to his head.

When another person in the house, Justin Woodman, 21, of Glenwood, pointed a hunting gun at the intruder, the suspect ran from the residence, the report indicated.

The report indicated Konfrst, Woodman and others in the house heard two to three shots fired as the unknown suspect fled.

The report did not indicate that anything was taken from the house, located at 1104 18th St.

May 5, 2007

Berlin Township, Iowa

From the Ionia Sentinel-Standard of May 5, 2007

‘I had seconds to make a decision, and I knew I had to save my family’

What began as a leisurely night for one Ionia family ended in a wild shoot-out between three men, with dozens of shots fired through the side door of the family’s home.

Chris Vasquez said he was getting a drink of water before settling down with five other family members to watch a movie just after midnight on Friday morning. He was at the home at 713 West Tuttle Road with his girlfriend, her two daughters and their boyfriends.

When he looked out the window while getting a drink, he saw two men walking up to the door in a menacing fashion. Because of an incident that occurred earlier in the evening at a family member’s home on Sayles Road in Easton Township, Vasquez was already on alert.

He yelled for someone to grab his 12-gauge Remington 870 Express pump shotgun.

“My greatest fear was that they would shoot me and then go on into the back room and kill the rest of my family,” Vasquez said.

As the assailants approached the door, Vasquez appeared in the doorway. According to Vasquez, two hooded men opened fire at the door, firing off at least six rounds. Vasquez blasted back through the screen door, hoping to hold off the men.

Summer Twomey, 21, who lives with her mom at the home, said Vasquez yelled for them to hit the floor.

“I had just fallen asleep … when I heard (Chris) yell ‘get down.’ Then I heard the gunshots,” Twomey said. “I had no idea where anyone was, just everyone was going crazy. I heard Chris loading his gun.”

The shoot-out lasted only a few moments.

When it was over, there were several bullet holes in the side door of the home, and a bullet lodged in the kitchen wall. There was also damage to the door where Vasquez had discharged his shotgun.

As the assailants retreated, Vasquez ran outside and pumped several rounds into the ground.

“I wanted to make sure they kept running, so I kept shooting into the ground,” he said.

Vasquez said he did not shoot at the fleeing men for fear of hitting a neighboring house to the west.

The assailants ran a few yards to the west, then bolted west on Tuttle Road in what Vasquez thought was an older model red full-size pickup truck.

Within a matter of minutes police from the Ionia County Sheriff’s Office and Ionia Department of Public Safety swarmed the area looking for the suspect vehicle, but found nothing.

Vasquez defended his use of the shotgun.

“I’d rather have a gun and not need it, then need a gun and not have it,” he said. “I had seconds to make a decision, and I knew I had to save my family.”

May 3, 2007

Des Moines, Iowa

From the Des Moines Register of May 3, 2007

Man with gun vs man with dog; no charges filed

Des Moines police declined to file charges against a man who pulled a gun on a neighbor’s dog.

Eric Wilson, 36, of Des Moines, complained to police that a man pulled a gun and pointed it at his rottweiler (sic) about 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said the man reportedly yelled at Wilson, telling him to put the animal on a leash. Wilson also claimed the man also pointed the gun at him and assaulted him by poking him in the chest with a finger.

Officers spoke to the man with the gun in the 1400 block of Highview Drive. He claimed the dog came onto his property and “charged,” him, which is when he pulled the firearm. He said Wilson also came onto his property and yelled for the dog to stop.

The man said he ordered Wilson and the dog off his property and admitted only that he “lightly tapped” Wilson on the chest with a finger. He added that he pointed the gun only at the dog.

Police concluded the man was acting in self-defense. They filed no charges and did not release the man’s name. Police said Wilson loudly disagreed with their decision.

March 17, 2007

Des Moines, Iowa

From March 17, 2007 KCCI channel 8:

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police said a woman shot and killed a woman who she said was trying to break into her apartment on Saturday morning.

Police said what’s unusual about the case is that the intruder was a woman.

The victim was in her bedroom at 621 28th Street at about 3 a.m. when she told police she heard someone trying to break in. Police said she used a shotgun to shoot at the intruder.

When police arrived, they found a dead woman lying outside the apartment building. On Saturday morning, they were still trying to figure out the identity of the alleged intruder.

Police said this was a case of self-defense and the woman in the apartment will not be charged. Police also said the women had a prior relationship, but they would not elaborate.

May 26, 2006

Des Moines, Iowa

From the Des Moines Register of May 26, 2006

Gun talk distracts robber

Des Moines police say an attempted robbery sputtered and failed when the robber and the clerk of a convenience store became distracted by a conversation about guns.

Police said a man entered th Kum-N-Go, 3200 S.E. 14th St., early this morning and simply “hung around” for about 20 minutes. Finally he approached the clerk, Sarah Van Doren, 21, and said, “Empty your register.”

Van Doren acted confused and said, “Huh?”

The robber repeated himself: “Empty your register and give me all your money. I have a gun.”

Van Doren asked to see the gun, saying she wanted to know if it was bigger than the one she had a [sic] home.

Van Doren and the robber then talked about guns for a bit, police said.

Then the suspect left. No money was taken. No one was hurt. No arrests were reported.

Van Doren declined comment.

Things that make you go, “Hmmmmm”.