Residents of Martelle react to fatal officer-involved shooting
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A rural Jones County neighborhood is responding to the death of a person killed by law enforcement on Tuesday night.
Firefighters originally came out to a home on 42nd Street in rural Martelle, just south of town for a large fire. When authorities got there, they say a man pointed a knife at them. They say the person refused to put the knife down, so that’s when multiple officers and deputies fired at him. The person died a short time later.
The man who was shot and killed was later identified by authorities as Jeremy Michael Berg, 45, of Elkport.
Marsha Fairbanks lives across the street from where first responders staged after the officer-involved shooting.
“As a retired paramedic, you just pray for the souls on board,” she said. “It was emotional because you didn’t know what was going on. You didn’t know if it was a fireman, you didn’t know if it was law enforcement, you didn’t know anything.”
Martelle has a population of under 300 people. Fairbanks says they mainly keep to themselves, but they do look out for one another,” Fairbanks said.
Last night left Fairbanks with a lot of questions.
“Pretty crazy,” Fairbanks said. “Just you don’t know I think the unknowing is the worst part.”
The Iowa State Fire Marshal and Division of Criminal Investigation stayed on the scene all day Wednesday investigating the shooting and the fire. Ron Baker works on a farm just down the road from where it happened. He saw all of the commotion.
“You realize that you’re not in a quiet community as you thought,” Baker said. “Things can happen like this, and it kind of gets your attention.”
Fairbanks and Baker both have well wishes for the victim’s family and the officers involved.
“We’re very close, and we care for one another,” Fairbanks said.
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