West Union, IOWA – The Iowa Department of Public Safety's Division of Criminal Investigation is releasing the name of the individual involved in the assault on a Fayette County Deputy on August 23, 2014, and it is identifying the Deputy involved in the incident.
On August 23, 2014, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Fayette County Deputy Jeremy Stiefel was with 32 year old Steven Harreld, an inmate of the Fayette County Jail. Harreld had been brought to the Palmer Lutheran Hospital in West Union, Iowa, the day before, for a reported medical issue.
While in the process of getting Harreld ready for discharge from the hospital and his subsequent return to the jail, Deputy Stiefel released Harreld from his handcuffs to allow Harreld to change into his jail clothes. When Deputy Stiefel went to release Harreld’s leg cuffs, Harreld attacked Deputy Stiefel, struggling with Deputy Stiefel for his firearm. Harreld managed to take Deputy Stiefel’s firearm and held Deputy Stiefel at gunpoint, ordering Deputy Stiefel to release him from his hand and leg cuffs.
While searching for the handcuff key, Deputy Stiefel was able to get to his electronic control device, when Harreld shot him with the firearm. Deputy Stiefel then deployed his electronic control device on Harreld. Harreld then used Deputy Stiefel’s firearm to inflict a gunshot wound upon himself. EMT’s responded to both Deputy Stiefel and to Harreld. Life-saving measures were performed on Harreld but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputy Stiefel was treated at Palmer Lutheran hospital for a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was wearing a ballistic vest at the time of the incident, and was subsequently treated for his injuries and released. Deputy Stiefel has been a jailer with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for approximately 2 ½ years and a Reserve Deputy for approximately 1 ½ years.
Harreld had been an inmate at the Fayette County Jail since August 20, 2014, after he was arrested on several charges stemming from a break-in at his ex-girlfriend’s house in Fayette County that had occurred on August 19, 2014.
On August 25, 2014, an autopsy was completed on the body of Harreld at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny by Jonathan Thompson, MD, Associate State Medical Examiner. Harreld’s cause of death was determined to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death will be certified as a suicide.
If you have any further questions, please contact DCI Spokesman Alex Murphy at 515-443-3014.