GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa — A trooper with the Iowa State Patrol has died following a lengthy police pursuit and standoff with a suspect in Grundy Center Friday night.
Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, has died following a lengthy police pursuit in Grundy Center Friday night.
According to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Michael Thomas Lang fled from Grundy Center police at 7:22 p.m. before assaulting a Grundy Center police officer and putting him in a chokehold.
A Grundy County deputy arrived at the scene at which point he allegedly said, "Come get me."
The chase eventually led them to Lang's home. During the incident, Lang shot at Sgt. Jim Smith, who had entered the home.
"As Sgt. Smith and the entry team began to clear the upstairs of the residence, Sgt. Smith was hit by gunfire coming from inside the residence," a criminal complaint in the case reads.
Law enforcement used an armored carrier, which Lang shot at multiple times. Officers in the armored carrier returned fire, hitting Lang.
Smith was transported to Grundy County Memorial Hospital where he died of a single gunshot wound. Lang was transported to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where he is in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds.
Lang has been charged with Murder in the First Degree.
"Sergeant Jim Smith was a husband. Sergeant Jim Smith was a dad. Sergeant Jim Smith was a protector of the innocent. Sergeant Jim Smith was a man of God," Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said at a Saturday press conference. "Sergeant Jim Smith. And I'm going to keep saying his name until his sacrifice is seared upon the hearts of anyone that can hear my voice."
Smith worked for the Iowa State Patrol for 27 years.
Neighbors near the scene said they were told by police to leave their homes during the incident, with one neighbor telling Local 5 he left his home for his own safety.
Several law enforcement agencies from across the state posted on social media their condolences about the officer's death.
"Jim was very dedicated to not only his job, but the people of his community," said Doug Rupe, a retired Iowa State Patrol sergeant who worked with Smith for a little over six years. "He was in it to help people and make the state a better place for everybody."