Suspect in fatal shooting of Iowa officer has long criminal history
UPDATED 10:22 AM PT – Monday, April 12, 2021
New information has come to light regarding the suspect in Iowa who allegedly shot and killed police Sgt. James Smith.
The alleged shooter, now identified as Michael Lang, won the Democrat nomination for Grundy County Sheriff in June of 2020. Lang was later defeated in the fall general election by his Republican opponent.
The 41-year-old suspect was taken into custody after being shot during a standoff with police. Lang had a history of encounters with police.
One instance occurred on April 1 when he was cited for trespassing at a local bar he had previously been banned from. A bartender at the bar said Lang had been a heavy drinker since high school and the bar’s owner had banned him for frequently yelling at other patrons as well as getting into fights.
Back in 2009, Lang was charged with felony third offense drunk driving to which he pleaded guilty. In 2015 and 2016, he was charged with aggravated misdemeanors, which are indicated to have been his third and fourth public intoxication charges.
Officers attempted to pull Lang over on Friday evening, however, he fled and eventually ended up at his home. His father warned police that Lang had multiple firearms at the residence.
“As the entry team began to clear the upstairs of the residence, Sgt. Jim Smith was hit by gunfire coming from inside the residence,” stated Mitch Mortvedt, Assistant Director for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. “After Sgt. Smith was shot, members of the entry team observed Lang emerge from the doorway holding a black, pump action shotgun.”
Law enforcement officers pledge to serve the public and put their lives on the line daily. We collectively mourn the line of duty death of Sergeant Jim Smith on Friday, April 9, 2021.
Rest in Peace, Sergeant Smith…we have your 6 from here. @State_Troopers_ pic.twitter.com/ez8GAugkOQ
— Iowa State Patrol (@iowastatepatrol) April 10, 2021
The standoff ended with Lang being shot multiple times and removed from the residence. He has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held on a $1 million bond.