2 police officers killed in Des Moines 'ambush-style attacks'

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Two Iowa police officers were fatally shot in their cars early Wednesday during separate "ambush-style attacks" in greater Des Moines, authorities said.

At least one suspect remained on the loose, and there was a "clear and present danger to police officers," Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department, told reporters.

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He added that there did "not appear that there was any interaction between these officers and the coward who shot them."

Parizek, who said the officers "were gunned down when they were sitting in their car," added that his colleagues were traveling in pairs for their own safety.

Their names were not immediately released.

In an earlier statement, the Des Moines Police Department said the first officer was found dead at around 1:06 a.m. CT (2:06 a.m. ET) in Urbandale, which is a suburb of the Iowa city which has its own force.

A second officer's body was located in Des Moines at 1:26 a.m. CT (2:26 a.m. ET), it added. The officer died shortly after being taken to hospital.

"The shootings appear to have been ambush-style attacks," the statement said.

It added that "suspect information is being developed at this time."

The Urbandale shooting took place near Urbandale High School, and the school district announced Wednesday it was canceling classes.

The local community was already mourning the loss of two other Des Moines officers who died in a car crash while on duty on March 26.

"I don't even know where to begin, how bad this year is," Parizek added.

He also referred to tensions across the country and that some people have "not-so-positive views of law enforcement."

The July 7 sniper killing of five officers in Dallas during a peaceful protest highlighted the deadly danger many officers face at work on a daily basis.

"An attack on public safety officers is an attack on the public safety of all Iowans," Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. "We call on Iowans to support our law enforcement officials in bringing this suspect to justice."

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