A Polk County Sheriff’s Department spokesman says a deputy who was shot after confronting a man who sped through his neighborhood did the right thing. Deputy Mike Lose remains in critical condition after police say he was shot by Oscar Carlos Gonzalez Sunday. Chief Deputy William Vaughn said Monday afternoon that Lose is improving. He says Lose is “Out of the deep woods, but he’s not entirely out of the woods.” Lose was working on a landscaping project at his home in Des Moines when Gonzalez sped through and Lose gave chase. Police say Gonzalez shot Lose when the officer confronted him and showed his badge. Vaughn says Lose was unarmed. He says, “He did basically what I think any good neighbor would do, any father would do. And that would be to go investigate, make contact with and notify law enforcement. It certainly wasn’t his expectation that he would be confronted by someone that was armed with a weapon and ultimately be shot for simply coming to the aid of the people in the neighborhood.” Vaughn says Polk County Deputies are taught to be involved in their neighborhoods. He says it’s their expectation that when officers are off duty and they see someone whose life is at risk or in serious harm that they do intercede to “de-escalate the situation” and call local law enforcement. Vaughn says he believes that’s what Lose’s intentions were. Lose says the department had gone through a range of emotions after the shooting. He says everyone is concerned and done what he calls grieving. Vaughn says, “We’ve had a good mad-on, so to speak. And we’ve all asked the question ‘why did this happen, why did it have to happen?’ We don’t understand why somebody would do something of this nature to an individual that identifies himself as a deputy, that is unarmed and in no way threatening that individual.” Vaughn’s brother-in-law was also shot and was treated and released. Gonzalez was shot by a Des Moines police office, but his wounds are not believed to be life threatening. Des Moines police say Gonzalez was wanted on two counts of attempted murder, one count of terrorism and one count of participation in gang activity. He now faces three additional charges of attempted murder after Sunday’s shooting.
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