POLICE SHOOTING: Officials Say Ames Officer ‘Justified’
Story County Attorney Stephen Holmes says an Ames police officer was justified in the fatal shooting of a suspect who fled from police earlier this week.
Officials released the information during a news conference Thursday morning in Ames.
Nineteen-year-old Tyler Comstock of Boone was killed Monday after leading police on a chase that ended on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames.
Police dash cam video shows Comstock rammed squad cars with the truck he was driving while trying to get away. He also blew through a red light at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Beach. He also drove the truck backward on ISU’s campus, almost hitting someone.
In audio recordings from the chase dispatchers are heard telling officers they could back off because they knew who the suspect was. Officers slowed down, but continued pursuit when Comstock went through a red light.
Comstock hit a tree on campus and officers surrounded the truck. It’s unclear whether Officer Adam McPherson heard the second call to back off from dispatchers because it happened when he was exiting his vehicle. McPherson fired seven shots at the truck. Comstock was hit twice and died from wounds to the head and chest. Police originally reported only six shots were fired.
In a letter detailing the investigation, Holmes says the evidence shows Officer McPherson acted reasonably under very difficult circumstances and was justified in using deadly force.
Holmes says Comstock’s state of mind during the chase can’t be excused and he had many opportunities to stop for police. He says police ran out of options and had no other choice but to shoot Comstock.
Commander Geoff Huff with Ames Police says Comstock’s actions during the chase showed a “willful and wanton disregard for the safety of every citizen in the area.”
Officer McPherson was placed on administrative leave during the shooting investigation. There is no timetable for when he will return to active duty.