Fallen Iowa State Patrol Trooper Escorted Home to Independence on Sunday

Less than three weeks after a nurse and correctional officer were killed in Anamosa, law enforcement across the state are mourning the loss of an Iowa State Patrol trooper.

Sgt. Jim Smith was shot to death Friday night during an armed standoff with a man in Grundy Center. Smith was a 27-year veteran of the State Patrol and part of a team that entered the home of 41-year old Michael Lang, who had assaulted a policeman earlier that night.

Just before midnight, authorities used an armored vehicle to batter into Lang’s house. Lang shot several rounds at the personnel carrier and three members of the tactical team returned fire, striking Lang multiple times.

Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens says Sgt. Smith’s death is a horrific loss to his family and his co-workers.

Smith had been stationed to the patrol district’s office in Oelwein since 1996 and was the leader of one of the patrol’s Tactical Teams. He is the second state trooper in the history of the Iowa State Patrol to be shot and killed in the line of duty.

On Sunday, Sgt. Smith’s body was escorted back to his hometown of Independence by a long line of Iowa State Patrol troopers. Hundreds lined the highway into Independence to pay their respects.

 

story contribution from Radio Iowa

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