DES MOINES, Iowa - A Des Moines Police officer who says she recognized a car connected with a wanted felon, followed the car Sunday afternoon.
According to police, the driver tried to slip away from the officer, eventually driving into a busy intersection against a red light, hitting a car that then slammed into a pickup truck. The intersection was bottle-necked for hours after the crash.
"He was savvy to the fact that police were after him, even before the officer initiated a stop." Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek tells WHO Radio News. "When he got to the intersection of SE 14th and Maury he didn't yield for traffic, and hit one car, which knocked it into a pickup truck."
But wait, there's more.
Detectives say the driver shot a gun out the window, putting a bullet hole in the side of the car it hit.
"It does appear, at one point, there was a shot fired from within his car." Says Sergeant Parizek. "We don't really know at this point if that was an accidental discharge on his part, or if he was actually trying to shoot at the police, or something else. But, the bullet hit that car." (photo of bullet hole in car, above)
The surprise came when officers arrested the driver. It turns out it wasn't the felon they thought it was. It was another felon.
"Not the guy we were looking for, but a different bad guy." Parizek tells WHO Radio News. "So, we're still on the look for the other cat."
Detectives at the scene say they found the gun laying on SE 14th Street. See photo below of Des Moines Police Detective putting gun in evidence container.
Photos by Wendy Wilde