Authorities: Iowa patrol trooper slain amid violent standoff

Published: Apr. 10, 2021 at 1:54 PM CDT
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LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) - Authorities say a 27-year veteran of the Iowa State patrol was killed during a standoff with a man who fired on agents who smashed into his home in an armored personnel carrier.

Sgt. Jim Smith was killed Friday night at the suspect’s home. The suspect, 41-year-old Michael Thomas Lang, was shot by officers and is hospitalized in critical condition.

He is charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a $1 million bond. Authorities say events began when an officer tried to stop Smith for a traffic violation, and Lang fled to his home.

When several officers entered the home, Smith was struck by gunfire. Lang was barricaded for several hours before he was shot by officers.

Iowa’s governor will order all flags in the state to be flown at half-staff in honor of Sgt. Smith.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller released statements on Saturday following the death of the trooper.

“It’s with deep sorrow that we recognize the loss of Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, a courageous hero who died in the line of duty,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Sgt. Jim Smith was a loving husband, father of two, and a pillar of the community. I along with the entire state of Iowa grieve for his family and friends as they try to cope with this devastating loss. Today we are once again reminded of the selfless sacrifices the brave men and women in uniform make. Let us never forget their bravery and that of their loved ones.”

Gov. Reynolds

“I was saddened to learn of the death of Sgt. Jim Smith. He was a dedicated public servant and courageous law enforcement officer. My heart goes out to his family and friends, as well as to his colleagues on the Iowa State Patrol.”

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

Digital Producer Taleisha Newbill contributed to this story.

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