Latest: Davenport police officer shot 'doing well'; man charged with attempted murder, second suspect identified

Latest: Davenport police officer shot 'doing well'; man charged with attempted murder, second suspect identified


UPDATE: Court records identify the injured officer as Ryan Leabo. 

Nathaniel Osman Viering

Nathaniel Osman Viering 

UPDATE: The second man taken into custody has been identified as Nathaniel Osman Viering, 27, of Davenport, according to court records. He is charged with possession with intent to deliver, a Class C felony, possession of a controlled substance, an aggravated misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor, and interference with official acts, a simple misdemeanor. 

The Davenport police officer wounded after exchanging gunfire with a man Thursday afternoon was stable and “doing well,” Chief Paul Sikorski said.

Sikorski declined to name the officer or discuss the extent of his injuries.

“I was joking with him a little bit before I left (the hospital) and came down here,” he told reporters just before 7 p.m.

Scott County Sheriff Tim Lane confirmed Thursday night that charges are pending against Brett Samuel Dennis Sr., 27, in connection with the shooting of the officer.

Brett Dennis

Brett Dennis

Dennis was booked into the Scott County Jail at 8:19 p.m. on outstanding unrelated warrants.

Charges of attempted murder and felon in possession of a firearm were added later Thursday. 

Attempt to commit murder is a Class B felony under Iowa law that carries a prison sentence of 25 years.

If the victim is a peace officer, the offender must serve 100 percent of the sentence and there is no chance for parole, work release or other early release, according to the Iowa code.

Being a felon in possession of a firearm is a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

Dennis was being held Thursday night without bond on the new charges in the Scott County Jail.

Another person taken into custody has not been named. 

At 4:25 p.m. officers with the NETS unit, or Neighborhood Energized To Succeed, and patrol officers were working the area known as Five Points, or Division and Locust streets and Hickory Grove Road. There has been an increase in crime in the area and officers were investigating, Sikorski said.

The officers saw a couple of “suspicious” men and tried to stop and talk with them in the 1600 block of West 17th Street, just east of Division Street. The two men ran into the side yard of a home, and one fired at the officer, who returned fire.

The officer was taken to Genesis Medical Center-East Rusholme Street, Davenport. Dennis and the other man were taken into custody; Dennis was taken to the hospital, and was booked into Scott County Jail after his release.

The crime scene stretched along West 17th Street from about Davis Street on the west to North Sturdevant Street on the east.

For several hours Thursday, officers talked to neighbors and searched yards, dumpsters and trash cans. An officer led a K9 through yards and along the sidewalk.

Some people stood near the scene taking photos and videos with their cellphones. Several people driving through the area yelled “what’s going on?” at bystanders.

Abbie Meewes, who lives in the neighborhood, said she was feeding her son when she heard two pops.

“Then out of nowhere, I start hearing the cars coming, screeching and squealing,” she said.

Kimberly Smithe, owner of G & G Retailers Inc. on West 17th Street, said she heard the sirens and saw a squad car going down the alley and heard it screech to a halt.

“We walked out to the alley to see what was going on and saw there was an officer down,” she said. “Then after that, they hauled him away and then there was officers running every which direction. And they told us to get inside, so we came in and locked the doors.”

Smithe said while the incident was scary, it did not really make her feel unsafe in the neighborhood.

“It can happen anywhere, it doesn’t matter where you’re at,” she said. “It can happen anywhere. Just at the moment, it was pretty scary.”

Deb Peters, assistant manager at Hardee's, said someone came into the restaurant and said an officer had been shot. Officers told employees to lock the door and told everyone outside to go inside the restaurant.

The restaurant was on lockdown for about 10 minutes, she said.

Sikorski said every police department in the Quad-City region, and some as far away as Muscatine had contacted him, asking if they could do anything to aid Davenport.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our brothers and sisters tonight at Davenport PD,” the Blue Grass Police Department wrote on its Facebook page. “If you believe in a higher power, please pray for a fast recovery. If you aren't the praying kind, please hope for a fast recovery.”

“The Moline Police Department asks that each of you keep the men and women of the Davenport Police Department in your thoughts this evening,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

Despite the fact that overall crime in Davenport dropped by 9 percent last year, Sikorski said there are still challenges officers are facing, including gun violence.

“We handle a lot of shots-fired calls in the city, and we’re doing everything we can with the officers we have,” he said. Those officers will be out day working to protect the city, he added.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the shooting while the Davenport Police Department will hold an internal investigation of its own, he added.

Bettendorf police helped in the investigation at the scene, while both Bettendorf officers and Scott County Sheriff’s deputies helped to answer calls for service in the city of Davenport.

The last time a Davenport officer was shot on duty was on Nov. 19, 2017.

Officers Justin King and Brenda Waline responded about 5:13 a.m. to a report of a burglary in progress at an apartment in the 400 block of East 12th Street.

Officers confronted a man, later identified as Matthew Donald Tobin, inside and a physical confrontation ensued.

King saw Tobin with a gun and alerted Waline; Tobin fired three times and struck King in the right ear.

King remained on top of Tobin and struggled to get control of the handgun. Waline was on top of both of them. It was later discovered that Waline had a bullet hole through the right sleeve of her uniform.

King told Waline that he had been shot and was losing consciousness. Waline shot Tobin twice but he continued to struggle.

During the struggle, her gun jammed and she had to reset it by ejecting a live round and chambering a new round.

King again told Waline that he is losing consciousness and says to "hit him again." Waline then shot Tobin for the third and final time.

One of the women who was inside the apartment confirmed that Tobin continued to fight until he was shot the third time. The struggle lasted approximately two minutes.

Tobin was pronounced dead at the scene.


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