Shots Fired As Police Chase Ends on Iowa State University Central Campus

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

AMES, Iowa - The driver of a stolen truck who Ames police said led them on a pursuit that ended on the Iowa State University campus with pedestrians jumping out of the way and officers firing shots died of his injuries Monday.

The Ames Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle at 10:17 a.m. Monday from a man who said his son had become upset and taken his pickup truck and trailer, according to a news release. A responding officer located the truck at Grand Avenue and South 4th Street, and the officer reported following the vehicle initially before activating his emergency lights.

Instead of pulling over, according to Ames police, the vehicle sped up and continued west to Beach Avenue, where it turned north. The driver, at one point, stopped the vehicle and reversed, pushing the trailer into the police car and partially onto its hood, according to police.

It then sped away again, running a red light and becoming unhitched from the trailer, according to the news release. The officer continued to follow the truck around Union Drive and eventually north on Morrill Road – against one-way traffic in the bike and pedestrian lanes, according to police.

Witnesses told police that people were jumping out of the way of the truck, which then jumped the curb onto a grassy area north of the university’s Campanile. The officer unsuccessfully tried to ram the vehicle to get it to stop, police reported.

The truck continued around the grassy area, prompting pedestrians to jump out of the way, according to Ames police. The driver eventually stopped in a wooded area but continued to rev the engine, police reported.

Officers gave verbal commands to turn off the vehicle, but the driver didn’t, and an Ames officer fired six rounds at the truck “to stop the ongoing threat to the public and the officers,” according to police.
The truck, while continuing to rev, no longer was moving, and officers approached the vehicle. They found the driver had been hit by the gunfire, and he was taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver’s name, age and hometown haven’t been made public. The officer involved in the shooting is on paid administrative leave until an investigation is complete.

News of the shooting spread quickly across the ISU campus Monday through social media and word of mouth. Initial reports were just that shots were fired on campus, but ISU and police officials quickly responded with reports that the suspect was in custody and the threat to the campus and community had passed.
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