Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham determined that a fatal Aug. 12 shooting of a man by a Pleasant Hill police officer was justified under Iowa law. Graham announced her findings on Wednesday afternoon.
Officers arrived at Van Heeswyk’s home where they found Heeswyk naked in a backyard with an AK-47 raised above his head. Pleasant Hill officer Steven Burroughs ordered the man to drop the rifle and then fired a single shot from his shotgun, according to a news release from the county attorney’s office.
Van Heeswyk was killed with the single shot. He had killed two dogs before the incident with police.
Officers on the scene provided medical assistance, but Van Heeswyk died at an area hospital.
To form her decision, Graham said she and prosecutors from her office reviewed all of the evidence provided by the state’s Department of Criminal Investigation, which included police body camera footage.
Also in her statement, Graham called for safety measures involving firearms. Specifically she called for Iowa lawmakers to enact a red flag law, which would temporarily restrict a person’s access to firearms under a court order. They’re typically ordered for people who are at risk to themselves or others.
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