ALTOONA, Iowa -- Early Tuesday morning, a traffic stop in Altoona turned into a chase that ended in gunfire and left the suspect dead.
A Polk County Sheriff's deputy pulled over a man around 3:45 on Tuesday morning and noticed he appeared nervous. As the deputy approached the car, the man hit the gas and a chase ensued. The chase ended on a nondescript cul-de-sac in the 200 block of 5th Street.
“It's very shocking, because this neighborhood is such a quiet, peaceful neighborhood,” said neighbor Stephen Butler.
That peace was broken when the man got out of the car with what deputies say appeared to be a weapon. Officials say the deputy ordered the man to drop it, but he did not comply. The deputy then opened fire.
“I jumped up to the window, then I heard gunshots, three to four was my estimate,” said Terry Prati.
Prati had been awake in the early morning hours because he works the night shift. He ran outside to make sure there wasn't a threat to his sleeping family.
“I come around the back of my house just to make sure everything was okay, and right over here at the end of the fence there was a body laying right here, between those trees over there,” he said.
Prati says first responders attempted CPR on the man before he was pronounced dead. He says with no threat to his family, his mind turned to something else.
“I don't know the procedure for how long the body stays there. I was kind of worried that we do have a lot of young kids along the road here, and if they were going to notice that being covered up over there and start asking questions...how do you explain that to young ones?” said Prati.
The deputy who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure. The Polk County Sheriff’s Department has not released the name of the victim, the deputy, or information regarding what the man was holding.