Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Shot & Killed in Standoff With Former Sheriff Candidate
A 27-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol (ISP) was killed Friday night in Grundy Center while trying to arrest a man who was barricaded inside his home.
According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPS), at about 7:22 p.m. Friday night, April 9, an officer with the Grundy Center Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle driven by 41-year-old Michael T. Lang of Grundy Center. Lang instead led police out of the city. The IDPS says Lang then stopped, got out of his vehicle, and assaulted the pursuing officer. He reportedly said "shoot me" to the officer on multiple occasions. He's then accused of taking the officer's taser and radio, and putting the officer in a chokehold.
A responding Grundy County Deputy arrived to find the officer recovering and Lang near the police car. When told to put his hands up by the deputy who had drawn his weapon, Lang reportedly said, "Come get me," before getting into his vehicle and leaving.
Shortly after, Lang was seen by the Deputy, entering his home in the 300 block of G Avenue in Grundy Center. Other law enforcement were called to the scene and set up a perimeter. When Lang's dad arrived at the home, he told law enforcement that his son had multiple guns, including a .410 shotgun.
Just a few minutes before 9 p.m., four members of the Iowa State Patrol, including Sergeant Jim Smith, and a Sheriff's Deputy K-9 unit from Hardin County, entered the home, identifying themselves and announcing the presence of a K-9. As the law enforcement team entered the residence, Smith was shot once from inside the home. Other law enforcement personnel inside the home with Smith saw Lang with a black shotgun.
Smith was removed from the home by some members of the entry team, while two others were able to make it into the basement. KCRG says Smith was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Lang then barricaded himself inside the house and law enforcement in the basement said that he talked about wanting to shoot more members of the police. The standoff would continue for several more hours.
At around 11:50 p.m., a Tactical Team with the Iowa State Patrol used a wheeled armored personnel carrier to try to get into the home. Lang fired multiple shots at the vehicle. According to Iowa's News Now, Lang was shot several times by law enforcement and taken into custody. He is reportedly in critical condition at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Lang, who Iowa's News Now reports made an unsuccessful run for Grundy County Sheriff last fall, has been charged with First-Degree Murder.
Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith started his ISP career in 1993. He was stationed in Fairfield until 1996, when he was relocated to Oelwein. Smith is the second member of the Iowa State Patrol shot and killed in the line of duty. The first was Trooper Oran Pape on April 29, 1936. A total of 11 Iowa State Troopers have made the ultimate sacrifice while on the job.