Suspect in Iowa trooper’s fatal shooting had run for sheriff

Iowa News

This December 2015 photo provided by the Iowa Department of Corrections, shows Michael Lang, of Grundy Center, Iowa. Lang, 41, is charged with murder in the April 9 , 2021, shooting of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith during a violent standoff at his home. An investigator says he was stunned to learn that Lang was a candidate for county sheriff in the November 2020 election. (Iowa Department of Corrections via AP)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The suspect charged with fatally shooting an Iowa State Patrol officer during a violent standoff had been a candidate for county sheriff last year.

Michael Lang was the Democratic candidate for Grundy County sheriff in the November election even though he had no law enforcement experience and a long history of alcohol-related crimes.

Residents and investigators say they are struggling to understand how the suspect in an officer’s death that has devastated Iowa could have been a recent sheriff’s candidate.

The man who defeated him says he believes Lang was motivated by his general dislike for law enforcement.

But at least one neighbor saw his candidacy as a sign that Lang had turned his life around.

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