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National Guard member shot, killed by roommate in Ankeny, police say

21-year-old Eli Reed died Wednesday. His roommate is now facing an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter.

ANKENY, Iowa — EDITOR'S NOTE: The above video is from Wednesday, Jan. 26.

21-year-old Eli Reed died Wednesday from injuries sustained in a shooting the night before, according to the Ankeny Police Department.

Reed was a member of the Iowa Army National Guard. Police said he lived with the suspect, 24-year-old John Peak, who unintentionally shot Reed.

Peak was initially charged with Reckless Use of a Firearm Causing Serious Injury and taken to the Polk County Jail but released on bond. Police have now filed an additional charge of Involuntary Manslaughter.

"I don't believe it wasn't intentionally done by Mr. Peak... I believe it was truly an accident that could have been prevented with some better decision making," said Sgt. Corey Schneden with the Ankeny Police Department. "It's sad event for everyone, and our condolences to the family of Mr. Reed and his friends."

Schneden said it was Peak who called 911 after shooting Reed.

Police are emphasizing the importance of gun safety after the tragic incident.

"You never want to point it at anyone, whether it's unloaded or not, you always want to know how to use that firearm," Schneden said. "Never want to put your finger on the trigger, unless you're ready to shoot it."

He also said guns are not toys and should only be handled when necessary.

"This ended very poorly for two young men, and you have one life that's lost, and another one that will be forever changed," Schneden said.

A criminal complaint said Peak was intoxicated when he shot Reed, striking him in the face.

Police said detectives are working with Peak’s attorney so he can turn himself in.

The Iowa National Guard released the following information on Reed:

Spc. Eli J. Reed enlisted in the Iowa National Guard on Dec. 28, 2020. Spc. Reed graduated infantry advanced individual training with honors in July 202, and then completed the U.S. Army Ranger School in November 2021 along with the U.S. Army Airborne School in December 2021. He was a member of Detachment 1, Company B, 1st-168 Infantry Battalion at Camp Dodge in Johnston, Iowa. 

Spc. Reed was a motivated and talented Soldier with a bright future as both a member of the Iowa National Guard and as a citizen in his community. 

Our Soldiers and Airmen are like family; this is truly a difficult loss for our organization. We have engaged our Chaplains along with Soldier Family Readiness professionals to support Specialist Reed's family and members of the greater Iowa National Guard community as we grieve together over the loss of a cherished member of our family. 

We will make any information about future memorials when the time is appropriate.  

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