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Iowa AG: Des Moines police 'acted with legal justification' in shooting of 16-year-old

Following an investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the attorney general's office has determined "no criminal charges are warranted."

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Attorney General's Office said Wednesday the three Des Moines police officers who shot and killed a 16-year-old in late December "acted with legal justification."

Their conclusion was made based on a review and investigation conducted by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, which led the attorney general's office to say "no criminal charges are warranted." 

“Every day, Iowa law enforcement officers put themselves in harm's way to keep us safe, not always knowing what will happen next,” said Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird. “In this particular case, four Des Moines police officers entered the scene knowing a perpetrator was armed. After refusing to comply with the officers’ requests to put the weapon down, they were forced to act, protecting themselves and those around them.”

The report comes less than a month after officers responded to a domestic dispute call in which they encountered a 16-year-old armed with a handgun. 

Police claimed they tried to de-escalate the situation, with the attorney general's office reporting there were nearly five minutes of negotiations. 

When the suspect eventually raised the gun toward officers, multiple officers fired their own handguns, shooting the teenager 14 times, according to the press release. 

The teenager later died at the hospital. 

Police said the officers' body cameras were recording during the incident. 

Local 5 has not received any footage of the shooting. Sgt. Paul Parizek told Local 5 the video will not be released, as doing so would be in violation of Iowa's juvenile confidentiality laws. 

Senior police officers Noah Bollinger, Zachary Duitscher and Thomas Garcia were placed on critical incident leave. 

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