Authorities say a man who was shot and killed by law enforcement officers in south-central Iowa Thursday was carrying a gun and successfully fired one round. The incident started just after 2:30 p.m. in Knoxville when an officer attempted to stop a car for a license plate violation.
Knoxville Police Chief Dan Losada says the male suspect led the officer on a chase that ended when a tire on the suspect’s car went flat. "Instead of exiting the vehicle, the driver displayed a handgun, which caused my officer to draw his weapon and fire at the vehicle," Losada told Radio Iowa today.
The suspect then fled on foot before he was tracked down in a neighborhood by another Knoxville Police officer and a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy, who asked the man to stop. "Instead of stopping, the suspect pointed a gun toward those officers, which cause them to fire. The suspect was struck once. Once officers secured him, they immediately began first aid and called for an ambulance," Losada said.
The suspect, identified as 51-year-old Frederick Dean Wright, died at a Knoxville Hospital. Investigators retrieved Wright’s weapon, a .32 caliber revolver. Losada says investigators found Wright’s gun contained one fired round. The other five rounds had marks on their primers, indicating that an attempt was made to fire the rounds but the weapon misfired.
The Iowa DCI is investigating the case. Losada says Wright was living in Des Moines, but lived in Knoxville as recently as 2003. "Mr. Wright is a convicted felon and there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest," Losada said. The three law enforcement officers involved in the shooting have not been identified, but all are now on administrative leave.
While investigators were checking Wright’s vehicle, they found what appeared to be an explosive device. Officers evacuated residents within a one block radius of the vehicle. Bomb technicians rendered the device safe before residents were allowed to return to their homes at 11 p.m.