Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release:
Media Contact:
 
Special Agent in Charge Darrell Simmons
  319-929-2786
 
simmons@dps.state.ia.us
August 8, 2019  

Council Bluffs Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Update

DES MOINES, Iowa -- This is NOT a press release directly from the Iowa Department of Public Safety's (DPS) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). This is a press release from the Council Bluff's Police Department. The DCI is assisting with this investigation.

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Narrative:

Introductions: As this series of incidents unfolded between Sunday and yesterday (Tuesday) the collective investigative team recognized that it would be difficult, if not impossible to capture this succinctly in a single press release, let alone a series of updates.  That is why we’re here today.  As we begin, we want to take a moment to recognize the good work of everyone involved in working through this complex investigation.  They include teams lead by Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation SAC Darrell Simmons, Pottawattamie Co. Sheriff Jeff Danker, Pottawattamie Co. Attorney Matt Wilber, CBPD Captains Todd Weddum and Greg Schultz.  Their tireless work during and in the aftermath of these incidents has helped to bring some sense of closure to the victims and their families, as well as helping shape a clear picture of what unfolded. With that said, please understand that our work is not done – the investigations are still underway.  Part of that includes the interview of the officer who shot the suspect to end the hostage incident.  For that reason, we will not be releasing the name of the officer who fired that shot. 

When one of our members is involved in a deadly force encounter like this we request the assistance of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).  Their role in instances like this is to investigate and review the actions of our members and other subjects involved in these deadly force encounters.  In parallel to their investigation, CBPD detectives conduct a criminal investigation into the matters outside of those under review by the Iowa DCI.  Finally, as a second independent review, all the investigative files (physical evidence, videos, photos, reports, and statements) are compiled and turned over to the Pottawattamie County Attorney for review and charging decisions.  As with past practices, we are working through the same process for this series of incidents. 

We appreciate your patience as we walk through this information.  We will be glad to address questions at the end of the press conference and will provide a copy of this for clarity. 

2103 6th Ave. Council Bluffs, IA – CBPD Case Number 19-012983 – Homicide Investigation – On Sunday, August 4th, 2019 at approximately 5:15 Council Bluffs Officers were dispatched to 2103 6th Ave. to investigate a suspicious death.  Further investigation revealed that Jerrot H. Clark, a 52 year old male, was found deceased inside the residence.  Mr. Clark appeared to have died as a result of homicidal violence – in this case a single gunshot.

PCSO Pursuit – 20500 Juniper Rd. - Attempted Murder – PCSO Case Number 19-002036 – On Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at approximately 2:15 am Deputy Ryan Olderog observed a green 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup DP384 (IA) stopped in the area of County Road L34 and Juniper Rd with its headlights off.  Deputy Olderog attempted to stop the Dodge for the minor traffic violation and suspicious activity.  An occupant of the vehicle fired shots from the Ram at Deputy Olderog as it fled from him. Deputy Olderog lost sight of the Ram as it fled south on Juniper Rd.  

1400 Indian Hills Rd. Council Bluffs, IA – CBPD Case # 19-013084 – Officer Involved Shooting – At approximately 2:39 am Council Bluffs Officers were in the area of Kanesville Blvd. and Railroad Ave. to assist Pottawattamie County Deputies in locating the suspects and vehicle mentioned above.  Officers Colby McCord and Anthony Fletcher observed the Dodge Ram and attempted to stop it.  The driver of the Dodge fled from both officers onto Indian Hills Rd. while the passenger again began firing shots at the officers.  The Dodge Ram crashed in the 1400 block of Indian Hills Rd. with both occupants still inside.  The male subject, later identified as Troy E. Petersen, a 28 year old male, of Essex, Iowa and April M. Montello-Roberts, a 44 year old female of Shenandoah, Iowa were actively moving inside the vehicle. 

Officers actively worked to communicate with Petersen, who was holding a long black rifle, but he refused to surrender or release Montello-Roberts.  At approximately 2:41, two minutes after the vehicle came to rest, Petersen indicated that he was holding Montello-Roberts hostage.  Officer’s on-scene continued to negotiate with Mr. Petersen for the better part of almost two hours. During the negotiations with Petersen, officers were able to convince him to throw one gun out of the truck.  At approximately 4:26 am Petersen began pointing a firearm at Montello-Roberts’ head and became more agitated.  In an effort to save Montello-Roberts’s life a CBPD officer fired one shot through the windshield of the Dodge Ram.  The shot incapacitated Petersen, allowing officers to move in and rescue Montello-Roberts.  After removing her from the vehicle, Montello-Roberts was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment of non-life threatening injuries.  Once Montello-Petersen was safely removed, Petersen was examined by medics – they confirmed that he was dead. 

270 Yellow Pole Road Council Bluffs, IA – CBPD Case # 19-013097 - Homicide Investigation – On August 7th, 2019 at approximately 12:29 pm Pottawattamie County Deputies and Council Bluffs Police Officers were dispatched to 270 Yellow Pole Road to investigate a suspicious death.  Upon entering and securing the scene deputies/officers discovered the resident, Steven P. Carlson, a 51 year old male, deceased inside his house.  Further investigation revealed that Mr. Carlson died from homicidal violence – again gunshots.

Case Connections – One of the critical points of this conference is that each of these incidents began in a vacuum.  None of the officers or deputies at the Indian Hills Rd. incident were aware that Petersen and Montello-Roberts were connected to the Clark homicide.  Nor were they aware that Petersen and Montello-Roberts were involved in the Carlson homicide. It was only through yesterday’s case at 1400 Indian Hills Rd. and interviews, we were able to connect each of these cases.  Ultimately, we learned that Petersen and Montello-Roberts entered 2103 6th Ave. with the intent to rob the victim, Mr. Clark, and ultimately killed him. 

Evidence and information at this point indicates that Montello-Roberts was driving the fleeing Dodge Ram while Petersen fired shots at Deputy Olderog.

During the short time that deputies and officers lost sight of Petersen and Montello-Roberts they killed Mr. Carlson and forced entry into his residence.  Unfortunately, we didn’t learn about that part of this tragedy until Mr. Carlson was discovered by family. 

Officers observed Petersen and Montello-Roberts shortly after they fled Mr. Carlson’s home.  Again, they shot at officers; striking Officer McCord’s marked cruiser while attempting to get away. 

The incident that occurred in the 1400 block of Indian Hills Rd. is explained above.  Even after they tried to kill Deputy Olderog and attempted to murder Officer McCord they chose not to surrender.  Instead, Petersen took Montello-Roberts hostage while surrounded by over 20 officers and deputies.  Even as officers attempted to negotiate Montello-Roberts’ release Petersen chose to place a rifle under her chin as if preparing to kill her.  It was at that point that one of our CBPD Emergency Services Team (EST) members fired a single shot – saving Montello-Roberts life and ending the deadly force threat.  The officer who fired the shot is a nine year veteran of our department and has been serving on our EST Team for 5 ½ years.  

Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators recovered evidence, including multiple loaded firearms, connected to the Clark and Carlson homicides and the attempted murders of the two law enforcement officers.

You will note that we have corrected one fact released in the first press release.  Initially we believed that Petersen was the driver of the Dodge Ram, but that does not appear to be the case.  Our investigation later revealed that Montello-Roberts was the driver, as Petersen fired the shots out of the moving pickup.      

As mentioned previously, this investigation is still on-going. Because this is on-going and to ensure that Ms. Montello-Roberts preserves her opportunities for a fair trial we will not be releasing any crime scene photos or videos associated with this series of incident.  Those will wait for trial or when the County Attorney authorizes otherwise. 

Subjects Mentioned:

  1. Victim: Jerrot H. Clark, a 52 year old male – residence 2103 6th Ave.
  2. Victim: Steven P. Carlson, a 51 year old male – residence 270 Yellow Tail Rd.
  3. Victim: Pottawattamie County Deputy Ryan Olderog, 31 year old male, 4 years’ experience.
  4. Victim: Council Bluffs Police Officer Colby McCord, 29 year old male, just under 2 years’ experience (8.21.17)
  5. Suspect: Troy E. Petersen, a 28 year old male, of Essex, Iowa – Deceased
  6. April M. Montello-Roberts, a 44 year old female of Shenandoah, Iowa – Ms. Montello-Roberts was booked into the Pottawattamie County Jail on the following charges:
    1. Felony Murder – 2 counts
    2. Attempted Murder – 2 counts
    3. Robbery First Degree – 1 count
    4. Burglary First Degree – 1 count

 

Mugshot of Troy Petersen
                          Troy Petersen

Mugshot of April Montell-Roberts
                    April Montello-Roberts

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 

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