WEST UNION, Iowa — An Iowa jail inmate shot a sheriff’s deputy and then killed himself on Saturday after grabbing the deputy’s gun and trying to escape from a hospital, authorities said.
The Fayette County sheriff’s office said the inmate, who was not identified, attacked a deputy when one of his hands was released from handcuffs.
A struggle began and the inmate was able to grab the deputy’s gun, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office. The inmate pointed the gun at the deputy in an effort to escape, the statement said.
The deputy then used a non-lethal device on the inmate, and the inmate shot the deputy in the abdomen before turning the gun on himself, according to the statement. The deputy was wearing a bulletproof vest and was not seriously hurt. He was treated at the hospital and released.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was looking into the shooting, which happened around 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Palmer Lutheran Health Center in West Union, in northeast Iowa. The sheriff’s office said the inmate was at the hospital for medical treatment. It said the names of the deputy and inmate will be released after the full investigation is complete and family members are notified.
A sheriff’s dispatcher said the department would not provide information beyond the statement.
Palmer Lutheran Health Center CEO Steve Stark said access to the hospital for patients was briefly limited Saturday, but that no services were interrupted and the emergency room remained operational.
“There’s no danger to our staff, and this was an isolated incident,” Stark said.