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Davenport Police officer found justified in shooting man who fired first on officers
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Davenport Police officer found justified in shooting man who fired first on officers

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Scott County prosecutors have determined that a Davenport Police officer was justified in shooting a man who fired first on officers Feb. 18 in the parking lot of the Walgreens at 1720 W. Kimberly Road.

According to a news release issued Wednesday by First Assistant County Attorney Amy Devine, Officer Nathaniel Missimer was justified in shooting Clarence Washington, who shot first a Missimer.

Washington was a federal fugitive at the time of the shooting.

At 5:43 p.m. Feb. 18, Davenport Police Officer Robert Welch saw a vehicle that was involved in an armed robbery earlier in the day pull into the Walgreens parking lot. Welch confirmed it was the correct license plate. Missimer went to the Walgreens and confirmed it was the correct suspect, Washington, inside the vehicle.

The release said Missimer got out of his squad car and approached Washington’s vehicle, a white Acura sedan. Washington attempted to drive off. Missimer got back into his vehicle and Washington rammed into Missimer’s squad while trying to flee the scene.

Missimer then used his squad to push Washington’s vehicle against a snowbank so Washington could not flee. This caused Washington’s car to be raised up onto the snowbank and allowed Missimer a better view of the Acura’s front windshield as well as a better view of Washington.

Missimer then went around to the back of his squad car for cover as it was reported that Washington was armed. Information had been relayed from the earlier armed robbery that Washington had stated he was not going back to prison and that he was going to shoot it out with police.

As Missimer came out from behind his squad car, he saw Washington reach into the pocket of his jean jacket.

Missimer was wearing a body camera, according to the report, and can be heard calling for Washington to show his hands. Missimer also is calling to other officers that Washington was reaching into his pocket.

Missimer could see Washington pull a handgun from his pocket, and at that time Missimer tells other officers that Washington has a gun.

Washington fired out the front of the windshield in the direction of Missimer. Missimer saw the gun pointed at him, saw the muzzle flash and stepped back behind his vehicle for cover.

Missimer could hear shots being fired as he was behind his squad car.

Missimer then looked around his vehicle and saw Washington still had the firearm in his hand. Missimer then fired 12 rounds into the Acura. Washington suffered three gunshot wounds. Washington was taken to a hospital for treatment and then released into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Officers located a handgun in Washington’s vehicle along with five shell casings. Officers also seized 20 individually wrapped baggies of cocaine from the car and a quantity of marijuana.

The Scott County Attorney’s Office will file a charge of attempted murder of a police officer against Washington. The charge is a Class B felony under Iowa law that carries a mandatory prison sentence of 25 years without the possibility of parole.

According to U.S. District Court online records, Washington was charged June 20, 2018, with possession of cocaine base with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking offense and felon in possession of a firearm as he had in his possession a 9mm Springfield XDM handgun with a magazine containing 18 9mm Luger bullets.

Federal authorities took over the drug and firearms charges from Rock Island County.

Washington failed to appear for a change of plea hearing scheduled for Feb. 14, 2019. He had been a fugitive since. He had faced a maximum of 40 years in prison for the drug charge and up to life for the weapons charge.

According to U.S. District Court, Davenport, electronic records, Washington is still facing those charges from 2018 as well as a new charge of failing to appear.

Federal authorities also added four drug and weapons charges against Washington after his arrest by Davenport police following the shooting. The first charge is conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance that contained cocaine base, or “crack” cocaine.

Washington also is charged with possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance containing cocaine base, or “crack” cocaine.

He also is charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm, a Taurus 9mm pistol, the same gun he used to fire at Missimer.

Washington is also charged with use and carry of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, the Taurus 9mm pistol. If Washington is convicted of that charge, the sentence is automatically consecutive to any sentence he may receive if he is convicted of the drug charges.

Washington’s trial on the federal charges has been set for July 6 in U.S. District Court, Davenport, before U.S. Chief Judge John Jarvey.

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