MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Maquoketa Police Sgt. Brendan Zeimet will be back on the job today and begin his routine shifts Wednesday after being off two weeks following a shootout with a Wyoming, Iowa, man.
Jackson County Attorney Sara Davenport said at a news conference Monday that Zeimet's use of deadly force was "justified and reasonable."
At 3 a.m. April 1, Zeimet came upon a parked truck on the wrong side of Grove Street. Zeimet walked up to the truck, and the occupant, Aaron Scott began shooting at Zeimet.
Zeimet was shot in the forearm, and Scott was shot in the leg. Neither injury was life-threatening. Scott was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his truck near Lost Nation shortly after.
State Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Matt George said Scott left a suicide note saying he was going to die and had a score to settle. George said he didn't know what that referred to. But he said Scott had four guns, including the SKS assault weapon used on Zeimet and the squad car. He also had a deer rifle, shotgun and a handgun and a lot of ammunition.
DCI investigators said Scott fired at least 14 times and as many as 19 times. Zeimet shot his weapon seven times.
Davenport said the investigation showed Scott had "some sort of falling out with the girl he had been seeing" an hour before the shooting. Scott called his estranged wife and told her to go to his house in Wyoming to take care of their son. When she arrived, Scott had left the child home alone.
The estranged wife said she found a suicide note. Scott told her he "had a score to settle" but did not elaborate.
"We're not sure why he went to Maquoketa," George said. "The note said he had a plan to die and had a large amount of firearms. Zeimet was fortunate he had no other injuries. With the amount of rounds he had, it was clear more injuries could have happened."
He said Zeimet and Scott did not know each other.
George said the investigation shows Scott killed himself after crashing his truck in Clinton County. George said Scott had valid gun permits from Jones County.
A video of the shooting was played during the news conference, but law enforcement said copies of the video would not be released. There is no audio during the short dash-cam video because Zeimet had put his microphone on the unit to charge it.
The video shows Zeimet driving by the pickup, turning around and driving up to Scott's parked truck nose to nose. Zeimet got out of his vehicle and approached the truck as Scott opened the door to his truck. The video shows the barrel of a gun come up and pointed at Zeimet. Zeimet backs away from the truck very quickly as he draws his gun and fires. Numerous shots are heard and debris flies off the squad car from being hit by the bullets.
Scott then closes the door, backs up quickly and drives away on South 2nd Street.