- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2016

The man accused of ambushing and killing two Iowa police officers was arrested and charged with murder Thursday, after investigators said they had recovered the rifle that was used in the fatal attacks hidden in a heavily wooded area.

Scott Michael Greene, 46, was arrested Thursday afternoon after detectives questioned him at the Des Moines police station. Mr. Greene was secured with the handcuffs that had belonged to the slain police officers and was transported to the county jail.

Mr. Greene was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted, he would receive an automatic sentence of life in prison without parole.

A statement from Des Moines police said the investigation has produced probable cause to support the charges but didn’t elaborate.

Earlier Thursday, police officials held a press conference to provide updates on the case. At that time detectives had yet to interview Mr. Greene, who had been hospitalized for complications with a preexisting medical condition.

Authorities were at a loss to explain a motive for Wednesday’s separate surprise attacks that killed a sergeant with the Des Moines Police Department and a rookie officer with the Urbandale Police Department.

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert, visibly angry as he spoke about the killings, called the incident a “cowardly act” and said the suspect had attempted to run and hide after the attacks.

“What happened yesterday was calculated murder of two law enforcement officers,” Chief Wingert said. “The message today is that nobody deserved this.”

The slain officers were identified as Sgt. Anthony Beminio, an 11-year veteran of the Des Moines Police Department, and Officer Justin Martin, who joined the Urbandale Police Department a year ago.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek said authorities located Mr. Greene’s truck and a rifle in the rural area where the suspected gunman had flagged down a state Department of Natural Resources employee to surrender hours after the attack.

The truck was “bogged down” and stuck off the roadway, and a rifle was discovered by a police dog in a nearby area covered with heavy brush, Sgt. Parizek said.

“There is absolutely no way a person would have found this gun,” he said.

Officials have searched the truck as well as Mr. Greene’s home, but Sgt. Parizek declined to comment on what items police have recovered.

It was not clear whether there are video recordings of either of the shootings, which took place less than two miles and 30 minutes apart.

But Sgt. Parizek said investigators have recovered surveillance video from businesses in the area to review.

Court records indicate that Mr. Greene has a criminal history and has had encounters with law enforcement. Less than three weeks ago, Urbandale police said he was removed from an Urbandale High School football game after he unfurled a Confederate flag in front of a group of black spectators and caused a disturbance.

Sgt. Parizek declined to speculate on any connection between that incident and the shooting.

“A lot of this will depend on what he tells us,” he said.

This article is based on wire service reports.

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