A manhunt is underway in the Siouxland area after a suspect, armed with a rifle, shot a Sioux City, Iowa, policeman on Monday afternoon.
The dragnet covers the entire metro area on both sides of the Missouri River and it’s broadening. Sioux City police officer Chad Sheehan says the shooting happened during a traffic stop.
“As the vehicle pulled off into an alley, the suspect exited the vehicle and opened fire on the officer before he could even exit his vehicle,” Sheehan says.
Reports say the officer was shot in the head. The suspect fled on foot. He’s identified as 22-year-old Jamal Dean of Sioux City. Dean is six-foot-one and weighs about 230 pounds. He was wearing black clothing at the time of the stop.
Officer Sheehan says the suspect is armed and dangerous.
“All of our available resources are out,” Sheehan says. “We have multiple jurisdictions assisting us in his search, including the sheriff’s department and federal agencies. We will work on this until we can bring him safely in.”
Dean is wanted in Woodbury County, Iowa, for first-degree robbery, burglary and theft.
Authorities are not releasing the name of the officer who was shot, but Sheehan says the policeman is in stable condition and his injuries are not life-threatening.
The initial manhunt was suspended around 8 o’clock Monday night as police Sergeant Mike Manthorne says officers followed other leads.
“Every house we clear, we feel we have eliminated one possibility,” Manthorne says, “but we’re still in an all-out search.”
The shooting happened at about 3:15 Monday afternoon. Schools on the west side of Sioux City were locked down as a precaution, but most schools in Sioux City had an early dismissal.
While police continue searching for the suspect, they arrested his brother, Levon Dean, on past warrants for first-degree robbery and first-degree burglary.
Officer Sheehan says it has been years — possibly decades — since a Sioux City officer was shot in the line of duty.
“You know, it’s a reminder to us that it’s a dangerous world we live in and you never know what you’re getting out on when you get out on any kind of traffic stop or any calls or anything,” Sheehan says. “Hopefully, we can rely on the public’s help here to help us catch this guy.”
Sheehan says it’s important to let police know any information.
“Somebody knows where this guy is at. Somebody knows where he’s hiding. We need you to call, call 911,” Sheehan says.
Anyone with information on Dean is asked to call the Crimestoppers Hotline at 712-258-TIPS (8477).
By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City