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Body camera video released of fatal shooting of man armed with knife by law enforcement in Jones County

Deputies and police officers responded and killed Jeremy Michael Berg, who was armed with a knife and did not comply with orders to drop the weapon.

MARTELLE, Iowa — The Jones County Sheriff's Office released 15 seconds of body camera footage from an Aug. 31 incident where police shot and killed 45-year-old Jeremy Michael Berg.

Officers responded to the scene of a structure fire in rural Martelle, and they had been told a man was going into the building and talking about dying in the fire. Police and Jones County deputies arrived to find Berg holding a knife outside the building. He had severe burns on parts of his body, and was "behaving erratically" according to the Iowa Attorney General's Office

A family member confirmed Berg had been using drugs.

The video shows Berg holding the knife and running toward officers. Law enforcement shouted at him to "drop the knife," but he did not comply.

All five officers—Deputy James Rickels and Deputy Tim Miller with the Jones County Sheriff's Office, plus Sgt. Nick Brokaw and Officer Gabe Humphrey with the Anamosa Police Department—fired their weapons, hitting Berg multiple times.

Officers administered first aid, but Berg died at the scene. An autopsy determined his death was due to injuries sustained in the shooting.

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Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver said the deputies involved were placed on administrative leave while the Attorney General's Office investigated. The investigation found the deputies were legally justified in shooting as Berg was given multiple opportunities to end the confrontation before he charged at law enforcement. 

Officers also tried less lethal methods, according to the state's report, including firing a TASER and bean bags, before shooting.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the State Fire Marshal are still investigating. Graver said longer video will not be available until those investigations are closed.

The Jones County deputies will return to work this week.

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