Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 20, 2014

DCI releases names in shooting involving deputy near Cantril

Oct 18, 2012
PHOTO SUBMITTED Robert M. Dooley

KEOSAUQUA — The names of the man fatally shot and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputy who allegedly shot him were released by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation Wednesday afternoon.

The deceased man has been identified as Robert M. Dooley, age 59, of Brighton. The deputy has been identified as Jon Tharp.

At about 11 a.m. Tuesday, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to numerous 911 reports of a male subject wearing a military uniform and armed with a rifle walking westbound along Highway 2, east of Cantril. The subject reportedly was making obscene gestures at passing motorists.

According to a press release from the DCI of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Tharp and Van Buren County Chief Deputy Brad Hudson responded to the reports. When they arrived at Dooley’s location, he was observed with a rifle and was ordered multiple times to drop the firearm.

The press release says Dooley turned toward the deputies and raised the firearm toward them, and due to those actions, Tharp fired one shot resulting in Dooley’s death.

An autopsy was conducted by the State Medical Examiner’s Office Wednesday. According to the press release, the cause of death was a single gunshot wound.

Following Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office policy, Tharp has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the DCI’s investigation.

The DCI continues to investigate the incident and will submit the findings to the Van Buren County Attorney’s Office for review. Special Agent Jeff Uhlmeyer of the DCI office in Mount Pleasant expects the investigation to be completed by early next week.

Dooley had led Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase Friday. According to court records, deputies had attempted to stop a silver Mini Cooper in Kalona for allegedly failing to maintain its registration plate. Deputies reported the driver, later identified as Dooley, had an arrest warrant the previous night. The court records also said Johnson County had reported Dooley was known to go armed and had a BB gun that looked like a real pistol.

According to deputies, when the sheriff’s cruiser got behind the Mini Cooper with its lights flashing, the vehicle activated its emergency lights and Dooley waved at the deputy through the open window before turning at a stop sign.

The vehicle continued, reaching speeds of 80 mph, and would not yield to the deputy’s vehicle. The report also said the vehicle was forcing other vehicles off the roadway.

The report said Dooley stopped the vehicle at 170th Street and Highway 1 upon seeing stop strips set up in the roadway to stop his vehicle. He was charged with eluding law enforcement and reckless driving.

When asked why he didn’t stop for the deputy’s vehicle, Dooley reportedly said he just wanted to go home. At the Washington County Jail, he had requested deputies provide him with his medication from a briefcase inside the vehicle.

David Hotle of the Golden Triangle News Service contributed to this article.

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