Des Moines Police Officer Shoots at Suspect to Protect Partner

DES MOINES, Iowa-- Des Moines police say a six-year veteran of the department fired on a suspect to protect his partner. Both officers are now on administrative leave.

The pair was responding to a call of a man armed with a gun around 3:45 p.m. Sunday in the 5400 block of SE 6th Street. They located the suspect, 28-year-old Darrius Bolden, in a parked car.

“He was making some pretty suspicious movements. They had a very simple request that they show them their hands, particularly given the complaint that there was a firearm involved,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Officers Zachary McCarthy and Benjamin McCarthy say Bolden refused and instead tried to get away. As he sped off, Benjamin McCarthy said he thought Bolden was going to hit his brother, Zachary. He fired multiple shots at Bolden’s car.

No one was hurt.

“We take care of each other like we're family. This one, truly legitimately blood family. They're both professional officers. Both are on the tactical unit, trained and skilled so I don't think the relationship had any influence on his response to it,” said Parizek.

“It was scary. I've never really heard gunshots before," said Sherry Lett.

Lett was outside with her grandkids. Across the street, neighbor Julia Mathews heard the gunfire as well.

“I hit the floor. I've learned to do that,” said Mathews.

The officers caught up with Bolden and his 17-year-old female passenger a few blocks away. They conducted a PIT maneuver on the suspect’s car.

“He spins out, he jumps out, runs maybe 20 yards, caught without any issues,” said Parizek.

Bolden is in the Polk County Jail facing charges that include possession of a firearm as a felon, eluding and interference with official acts.

The department is now conducting an administrative review of the officer-involved shooting. Benjamin McCarthy has been on the job since 2010. Zachary McCarthy joined the force in 2012.

Parizek says the department does not have a police that prevents family from working together, but they can’t supervise one another.