OTTUMWA, Iowa -- One suspect is dead, one is injured, and two more are in custody following a shootout in Ottumwa today.
Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew says officers were dispatched around 1:44pm on a report of shots fired on Lillian Street in-between W Loomis and W Hand. As officers were responding they learned four individuals were running along a creek in the area. Police immediately put nearby Liberty Elementary School on lockdown. “There was a subject shot at that location I don’t know the condition of him or her,” said Chief McAndrew.
When officers arrived on scene they found three suspects behind the school. Officers and at least one of the suspects exchanged fire. McAndrew says the shooting continued for "a few minutes" before the shooting stopped and police moved in.
Officers say they killed one of the suspects and wounded another. A third suspect was found in a ditch near the school. A fourth suspect escaped from the scene. Police searched a nearby bean and corn field for several hours before finding him. Chief McAndrew says a search team followed a trail of blood which led them to footprints and eventually to the suspect. Chief McAndrew said, "It was awesome. This couldn’t have worked out any better. It is tragic, the life was lost but for a law enforcement standard protecting Ottumwa, this couldn’t have worked any better.”
Two officers had to be taken to the hospital because of dehydration but will be alright. Chief McAndrew said the department just practiced an active shooter situation at nearby Evans middle school on Thursday. No students or staff at the elementary were harmed and all officers were uninjured.
The Ottumwa School District says children were never in harm's way.