DES MOINES, Iowa (CNS) — In response to the fatal shootings Nov. 2 of two police officers, Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines said the diocese stands in solidarity with members of the local police force.
The Catholic community “extends heartfelt prayer and sympathy to the families and friends of the two police officers who were killed in the line of duty,” the bishop said in a statement.
The two Des Moines-area police officers were shot shortly after 1 a.m. local time less than two miles apart in separate ambush-style attacks while they were in their patrol cars. Eight hours later, authorities apprehended a man suspected in the killings.
“This painful moment calls for a full investigation of the incidents, a response of justice and a continuing conversation of the entire community in seeking to resolve conflict in a peaceful manner,” said Bishop Pates, adding that one particular concern is that needs to be addressed is the “widespread proliferation of guns which makes such violence possible in the first place.”
“May all of us working together find the courage to move forward in a manner that brings peace to our beloved community,” he added.
The shootings follow previous police shootings this year. Five police officers were killed in Dallas July 7 and three police officers were killed later that month in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
According to The Associated Press, Nov. 2 marked the first time a Des Moines police officer had been shot and killed on duty since 1977, but 113 Iowa officers, including the two shot Nov. 2, were killed in the line of duty in 2016. Fifty-one of the deaths were firearms-related.
Des Moines Sgt. Paul Parizek told CNN that investigators do not know what led to the killings, and may never be sure about the shooter’s motivations.
The officers’ deaths are a blow to all officers in the Des Moines area, he said.
“They are our friends and co-workers,” he added. “Des Moines is not a big city. We all know each other. We’re heartbroken.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103