MUSCATINE — A 23-year-old Muscatine man has been charged with first-degree murder after the shooting death of an 18-year-old woman.

According to the Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren, David Hatfield called 911 on Wednesday saying Kaitlyn Palmer shot herself in the head at the Saulsbury Recreation Area in rural Muscatine County. During the investigation, Hatfield admitted to shooting Palmer in the head and later said he fired a practice shot first.

Palmer was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she died Thursday.

Hatfield is being held in the Muscatine County Jail on a $1 million case only bond. His preliminary hearing will be on October 28, 2019.

Murder in the first degree is a class "A" felony punishable by life imprisonment.

This incident was investigated by the Muscatine County Sheriff's Office, the Muscatine Police Department, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Earlier story: A Muscatine man remains in the Muscatine County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond on a charge of attempted murder.

Register for more free articles
Stay logged in to skip the surveys

Muscatine County Sheriff's deputies were called at 10:51 p.m. Wednesday to the Saulsbury Recreation Area in rural Muscatine County, according to a news release from the Sheriff's Office.

Information received by Muscatine Communications Dispatchers indicated a woman, later identified as Kaitlyn S. Palmer, 18, of Muscatine, had been shot in an apparent suicide attempt.

Following investigation and interviews, David J. Hatfield, 23, of Muscatine, was charged with attempt to commit murder, a Class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison, and was transported to the Muscatine County Jail.

According to court documents, Hatfield called 911 to report Palmer tried to commit suicide in front of him by shooting herself in the head. Hatfield later admitted to shooting the victim one time in the left side of the head/temple area with a .22-caliber pistol, according to court documents. Palmer is on life support at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 28 in the Muscatine County Courthouse. Court documents show Hatfield requested court-appointed counsel. 

Deputies were assisted by the Muscatine Police Department, Wilton Police Department, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Muscatine Fire/Ambulance, and Wilton First Responders.

More details as they become available.

Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Quad-City Times​