Reaction to ‘ambush-style’ shootings of 2 police officers

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DES MOINES, Iowa –  “The first thing that went through my mind was feeling devastated, I started to cry,” said Pat Wilson of Des Moines.

Wilson, a Mason City native now living in Des Moines, heard the gun shots from her home. She said she can’t stop thinking of the families of the officers who were lost and the possibility that it could have been her son Luke, who is an officer in Des Moines.

“Well it’s really scary because when you hear about an officer, even though in your head your saying, ‘I’m sure this isn’t my son because I would have known by now’, that’s still the first thing you think.”

Wilson soon realized it wasn’t Luke. It was Des Moines Sgt. Tony Beminio found shot and dead. Not long before that, Urbandale police officer Justin Martin was found dead in his police car only a few miles away.

“They have lost a family member,” said Wilson. “That’s how police departments look at their police officers.”

Jessica Spalding, who grew up in Clear lake, has two kids in the Urbandale School District that was shut down Wednesday because of the shootings. She said when she got the call at 5:30 a.m., she knew any call that early may not be good, but she never imagined this. “The minute I heard that, I started crying because I think about the family and the officer and are my kids safe?”

Spalding said there is no easy way to talk about the shootings with kids without worrying them. She said right now all she can do is pray. “I’m a very faithful person and so I turn to God,” said Spalding. “That’s all I can do is pray, that’s all I can do I can’t control what happens.”

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