Posted: 4/30/2013 4:43:56 AM EST
SIOUX CITY | On what should have been a quiet
afternoon, Donna Johnson was out in the sunshine Monday, digging up lilies alongside her Myrtle Street house. Then gunshots pierced the air.
“Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” she said. “It was about five shots.”
Police say the shots that broke the stillness of the west Sioux City neighborhood were fired at a Sioux City police officer during a traffic stop, hitting the officer.
Authorities aren’t releasing the name of the officer, who is expected to recover.
Neighbors could only watch and hunker down as Sioux City police, Woodbury County sheriff's deputies and U.S. Marshals Service agents armed with rifles, many wearing black bullet-proof vests, combed the neighborhoods for the gunman. The suspected shooter, Jamal Dean, 22, is considered armed and dangerous, said Sioux City police Capt. Marti Reilly.
Officers were still searching for Dean Tuesday morning. Anyone with information is asked to dial 911 or 712-258-8477.
After the shooting Monday, Johnson said she heard the gunshots and saw neighborhood children running down the alley toward her, away from the sound.
"Another guy came down the alley and he said the police officer had been shot," Johnson said, her thoughts moving to her family. "I thought, O.K., now I’m going to get my granddaughter to make sure they’re in the house."
Earlier, Johnson said, she yelled at the driver of a gray car to slow down. Neighborhood kids play in the alley and surrounding streets, and she feared they would be run over. The car was followed by a police vehicle, she said.
Seneca Henderson, 30, also heard the shots from his house about a block away. He said gunshots are rare in the neighborhood, which is two blocks west of Hamilton Boulevard. Henderson's first thought was for his children.
“(I) got the kids in the house,” he said.
Henderson and his mother later joined a group of neighbors and curious onlookers in an alley between West Third and West Fourth streets. From the alley entrance on Isabella Street, they could see police searching a dull silver car. The car, facing Isabella Street, was about half a block away.
Mary Vargas, 38, of Sioux City, worried that police hadn't caught the suspect yet. She stood a few feet from Henderson, having come to the scene after getting a call from friends.
“It’s uncalled for,” Vargas said. “You don’t need this. It needs to stop.”
Rumors of the shooting spread throughout the neighborhood, reaching Angelica Topete’s family four blocks farther down Myrtle Street. Topete, who is pregnant, ushered her children closer to the house on a hill overlooking Hamilton Boulevard.
From their front porch, they could see the Sioux City Police Department mobile command center vehicle parked at West First Street and Hamilton Boulevard.
The family kept an eye out for strangers, ready to call police if anything didn’t seem right. As they watched, patrol cars drove back and forth through the neighborhood.
“It’s terrifying,” Topete said.
Sioux City Police Department, Woodbury County Sheriff's Office, Shooting, Gun Crime, Gun Violence, Police Shooting
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