A Burlington man was shot by officers who were investigating a suspected methamphetamine operation in southeast Iowa Wednesday. Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jessica Lown says the incident occurred around 4 a.m. in a rural area of Lee County.
“When (the officers) got to the residence, the suspect they were looking for approached them and sprayed anhydrous ammonia on several officers,” Lown said. The officers defended themselves with their guns. It’s unclear how many times the suspect, 51-year-old Earl Freeman, was shot.
Lown says Freeman was transported by ambulance to a hospital in Iowa City. His condition has not been released. The officers who were exposed to the anhydrous ammonia were treated and released from a hospital in West Burlington. Detectives with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation are investigating the shooting. Their work was delayed Wednesday because of the meth lab.
“It takes a little bit longer when you have to be careful about volatile chemicals and making the scene safe for investigation,” Lown said. She did not know how many officers fired their weapons.