Suspect Caught in 'Ambush-Style' Shootings of 2 Des Moines-Area Officers
Police officers gather evidence at the scene of a shooting in Urbandale, Iowa on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. Two Des Moines area police officers were shot to death early Wednesday in ambush-style attacks while they were sitting in their patrol cars, and police are searching for suspects, authorities said.Charlie Neibergall / AP
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Earlier, police described Greene as armed and dangerous, and said he posed a “clear and present danger to police officers."
Greene was arrested at least four other times, Iowa court records show: in 2001 for assault causing bodily harm, which was dismissed; in 2010 for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, which was dismissed; in 2014 for interference with official acts, for which he paid a fine, and harassment in the second degree, for which he received suspended jail time.
Parizek said this latest incident happened without warning and that there was nothing either could have done to save themselves while they sat in their cars.
There did "not appear that there was any interaction between these officers and the coward who shot them," he earlier told reporters.
Parizek added that his colleagues were traveling in pairs for their own safety.
"These were our friends. They were our co-workers," said Parizek, adding, "We’re heartbroken."
In an earlier statement, the Des Moines Police Department said the first officer was found dead at around 1:06 a.m. CT (2:06 a.m. ET) in Urbandale, which also has its own force. That officer was identified as Martin.
Between 15 and 30 rounds were fired at his patrol car, McCarty said. The weapon is believed to be a .223 caliber gun.
A second officer's body was located in Des Moines at 1:26 a.m. CT (2:26 a.m. ET), authorities said. The officer, Sgt. Beminio, died shortly after being taken to the hospital.
"The shootings appear to have been ambush-style attacks," the police statement said.
It added that “suspect information is being developed at this time.”
The Urbandale shooting took place near Urbandale High School, and the school district announced Wednesday it was canceling classes.
The local community was already mourning the loss of two other Des Moines officers who died in a car crash while on duty on March 26.
“I don’t even know where to begin, how bad this year is," Parizek added.
"An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans," Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. "We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice."
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the Justice Department will be available to assist in the investigation into the attacks, and cautioned others against ratcheting up "tension and mistrust" between law enforcement and communities.
"I know that while we do not yet know what led the perpetrator to commit these awful crimes, many will be nevertheless be tempted to read a message or motive into this assault," she said. "But let me be clear: there is no message in murder. Violence creates nothing; it only destroys."
F. Brinley Bruton
F. Brinley Bruton is senior editor in charge of NBC News Digital’s London bureau.
Erik Ortiz is a staff writer for NBC News focusing on racial injustice and social inequality.
Pete Williams, Kurt Chirbas, David Wyllie, Christopher Nelson and Erin Dean contributed.