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Police Say They ‘Didn’t Have a Choice’ in Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

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Officer-involved shooting investigation at E. 14th St. in Des Moines. (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Police say they had no choice early Wednesday morning, when an officer fatally shot an armed suspect who fired a gun during an incident.

Officials with the Des Moines Police Department say they’ve had multiple run-ins with 29-year-old Tiffany Potter in the past, but this week it turned deadly.

Police say they were attempting to stop Potter when she pulled into a random driveway on East 14th Street. They say she then ran from the car and fired at least one shot with a handgun she was carrying. Police have not said whether that shot was aimed at officers.

Tiffany Potter (WHO-HD)

One of the officers returned fire, hitting Potter and ending the foot chase. Officers immediately began medical treatment and called for an ambulance.

Potter died a short time later at the hospital.

“This is the type of thing we go head to head with every day and nine times out of ten it doesn`t get to this point, but in this point we were dealt some circumstances that we didn`t have a choice to how we dealt with them,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department.

The names of the three officers involved in the incident were released Wednesday, but police are not releasing which officer shot Potter or how many rounds were fired. Senior Police Officers Brian Buck, Brandon Holtan, and Brady Pratt are on paid leave, something that is standard.

Potter had a lengthy criminal history and had just been released from prison on drug and weapons charges in March.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is looking into the officer-involved shooting.