Iowa DPS releases more details of fatal shooting of Iowa trooper

Iowa News

Sgt. Jim Smith (WHO 13)

GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa (KCAU) — The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) released more details regarding the incident on April 9 in which Sgt. Jim Smith was killed.

According to release, from the Iowa DPS, on April 9, Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith was shot and killed by Michael Thomas Lang while attempting to arrest a barricaded subject in Grundy Center. During the attempted arrest, Sgt. Smith was accompanied by three Iowa State Patrol Troopers and a Hardin County Sheriff’s Deputy K-9 unit.

Shortly after Sergeant Smith was shot, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Deputy who had been part of the entry team, fired shots at Lang, but those shots did not hit him.

Officials said round 11:50 p.m., an Iowa State Patrol Tactical Team attempted to make entry into the residence with a wheeled armored personnel carrier. During the entry, Lang shot multiple rounds at the personnel carrier. Iowa State Patrol Troopers returned fire at Lang and he was then taken into custody by Iowa State Patrol Tactical Team members.

Lang was transported by EMS personnel to the Grundy County Memorial Hospital before being transferred to the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for further treatment. Medical personnel discovered that Lang was found to have three gunshot wounds as a result of return fire by officers.

The names of the officers who returned fire at Lang during this incident are now being released The officers were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation:

  • Hardin County Sheriff’s Deputy Mitch Kappel, a 13-year veteran of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office
  • Trooper Josh Guhl, a 13-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol,
  • Trooper Matt Costello, a 17-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol,
  • Trooper Spencer Baltes, a 4-year veteran of the Iowa State Patrol,

The Grundy County Attorney’s Office requested the Iowa Attorney General’s Office review the facts surrounding the officer-involved shooting incident during, and after, Sergeant Smith was killed. The Iowa Attorney General’s Office concluded that the use of deadly force by all four officers was justified and reasonable.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, along with the Iowa State Patrol, the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and the Grundy Center Police Department assisted in the investigation.

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