By: Regina Wright ~Campus News Editor~
Last week, two police officers, a rookie and a veteran, were shot and killed in Des Moines, Iowa.
The officers were shot inside of their patrol cars early in the morning of Nov. 2 with their guns still holstered. The suspect was quickly identified as Scott M. Green, who was described by officials to The New York Times as a “troubled loner who was familiar to the police in his suburban town, Urbandale.”
The motivation behind Greene’s actions are unknown. However, hours before the shootings Greene was ordered to vacate his mother’s house after she had reported him for emotional and physical abusive.
Greene previously had problems with law enforcement, and in April 2014 was charged with interference after he resisted officers’ efforts to check him for weapons. He was known to walk around armed and was generally hostile toward the police.
Greene was later charged with harassment after approaching a man in a parking lot and threatening to kill him after using racial slurs. Greene pleaded guilty to misdemeanors in both cases and was given probation after being fined.
Weeks before the attack, he was escorted out of a Urbandale high school football game for waving a Confederate flag toward African-American students. A restraining order was placed on Greene, restricting his ability to enter the school’s property.
A spokesperson for the Des Moines Police Department conceded his motivations will likely remain unknown.
Police officers found the bodies of Officer Justin Martin and Sergeant Anthony Beminio after responding to a Wednesday night report of gunfire at the Urbandale high school from which Greene was restricted.
Des Moines Police reported Greene walked over to Martin’s patrol car near Urbandale High School and shot between 15 and 30 rounds.
Beminio was found 30 minutes later and blocks away from Martin, but was killed in a similar ambush style.
“It doesn’t look like there was an exchange of conversation. There definitely wasn’t an opportunity for these officers to defend themselves,” Des Moines Police reported.
Investigators are currently searching for the gun used in the murders.
President Barack Obama described these recent killings as “shameful acts of violence.”
These murders follow the slaughter of five police officers in Dallas, Texas and three law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge, La., earlier this year. Martin was 24 and graduated from the Police Academy in 2015. He was hired by the Urbandale Police Department and sworn in on Jan. 19 of this year.
Beminio, 38, was an 11 year veteran to the Des Moine Police Department. He was married with children.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the number of officers killed in the line of duty in the United States rose sharply this year to 52 through Nov. 2, compared with 33 by the same date in 2015.
In particular, the organization noted with alarm an increase in “ambush killings,” with 14 this year, and up compared to three in the same time period in 2015.