Former DMPD Officer Involved in Lucas County Murder – Suicide

LUCAS COUNTY, Iowa —  A retired Des Moines Police officer is dead after an apparent murder – suicide, according to authorities.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Craig Dawson, 66, called 911 in the early morning hours Monday telling dispatchers he had shot and killed his wife, Julie Dawson, 64,  in their home in Lucas. When officers arrived on scene, they were unable to make contact with anyone inside of the home and had to force their way inside. They found the couple dead from gunshot wounds.

Steve Gorsline lives next door and tells Channel 13 the couple was having marital issues. “They’ve been having problems for years. I never thought it was going to boil down to this because he said he’d never hurt her,” he said.  He adds,”Craig had alcohol problems at one time and he stopped but I guess he kind of got started in again. That’s what might have done it. I don’t know what kicked him off.”

Craig served as a senior officer on the Des Moines Police Department for 33 years. He retired in 2007. The department says it’s “deeply saddened by this event and out thoughts and prayers are with the entire Dawson family.”

Autopsies are scheduled at the Iowa State’s Medical Examiner’s Officer later this week.