Johnson County Attorney Janet Lyness has ruled a drug enforcement officer was justified in a shooting last week that left one man dead and another injured. New details about the August 16th incident at the Breckenridge Trailer Court near Iowa City were released in Lyness’ report about the investigation.
It shows two State Division of Narcotics Enforcement agents were working undercover and went to the trailer court to purchase illegal drugs. Agent Daniel Stepleton and the other unidentified agent were directed into the trailer by 24-year-old Ivan Hardemon.
The report states two other men then entered from the back of the trailer holding clubs with their faces covered by cloths. They were told to pat down Stepleton and the other agent as Hardemon pulled out a handgun. Stepleton reported the man patting him down felt a gun in Stepleton’s back waistband.
Stepleton said he backed against a wall to keep the man from removing the gun. At that point, Hardemon put the barrel of his gun to Stepleton’s head and made statements about shooting Stepleton and the other officer. The report states Stepleton pushed Hardemon’s gun away and removed the gun from his back waistband.
Stepleton shot four times hitting Hardemon in the chest and arm. He also shot one of the masked men, identified as 22-year-old Demarco Dudley, twice in the arm. Hardemon died outside the trailer after trying to flee with the other two men.
Demarco Dudley and his brother, 21-year-old Norman Dudley, were captured later in the week along with 20-year-old John Mulbah. Norman Dudley and Mulbah had sold drugs to undercover cops earlier in the week, according to police. Lyness, the Johnson County Attorney, says agent Stepleton “acted with reasonable force and was justified in his actions.”