Grundy Center, Iowa – Sergeant Jim Smith, an Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper, was shot and killed during a standoff Friday. Sgt. Smith was a 27-year veteran of the department.
Authorities have identified the shooter as 41-year-old Michael Lang, and say he was previously a candidate for county sheriff.
Mitch Mortvedt, Assistant Director for Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, said the incident began with an attempted traffic stop by Grundy Center Police at around 7:30PM on Friday. Lang failed to yield and was chased by officers. Lang eventually pulled over, exited his vehicle, and assaulted the officer who had been chasing him.
Mortvedt said that Lang yelled “shoot me” multiple times and was able to disarm an officer of both their firearm and taser after placing them in a chokehold. Lang then re-entered his vehicle and fled, losing deputies during the chase.
Deputies went to Lang’s residence in Grundy Center and observed him entering via the garage. A perimeter was established around the home and additional units arrived.
A team of four Iowa State Patrol Troopers, including a K9 unit, entered the door of the garage. When they then began to clear the upstairs of the home, Sgt. Smith was shot by Lang with a shotgun. The entry team retreated to the basement and were able to remove Sgt. Smith from the residence. Lang then barricaded himself inside the home and said he was going to shoot more law enforcement.
Lang barricaded in the home for several hours until a tactical team made entry at 11:50PM. While the team entered, officers and the suspect engaged in a gunfight and Lang was shot multiple times.
Sergeant Smith was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Lang was transported to a hospital and is in critical condition.
Governor Kim Reynolds provided a statement in honor of Sgt. Smith Saturday afternoon via Twitter.
“It’s with deep sorrow that we recognize the loss of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, a courageous hero who died in the line of duty. Sgt. Jim Smith was a loving husband, father of two, and a pillar of the community. I along with the entire state of Iowa grieve for his family and friends as they try to cope with this devastating loss. Today we are once again reminded of the selfless sacrifices the brave men and women in uniform make. Let us never forget their bravery and that of their loved ones.”
I along w/ the entire state of IA grieve for his family & friends as they try to cope w/ this devastating loss. Today we are once again reminded of the selfless sacrifices the brave men & women in uniform make. Let us never forget their bravery and that of their loved ones (2/2)
— Gov. Kim Reynolds (@IAGovernor) April 10, 2021
Sergeant Smith left behind a wife and two children. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, department, and the community.
Rest In Peace @iowastatepatrol Sgt Jim Smith who was shot & killed on 4/9/21 while attempting to arrest a perp who assaulted & disarmed another officer during a traffic stop. He served for 27 years & leaves behind a wife & 2 children. Please retweet to honor him #BlueLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/4rBZHy42fC
— Angel L Maysonet🇵🇷🇺🇸👮🏻♂️💙🖤 (@bigricanman) April 11, 2021