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Suspect In 'Ambush-Style' Killings Of 2 Iowa Police Officers Is In Custody

Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek speaks to reporters Wednesday. Authorities say two police officers in the Des Moines, Iowa, area were shot to death in ambush-style attacks about three miles apart.

A suspect is in custody in connection to the ambush-style killings of two police officers in the Des Moines, Iowa, area, according to police.

The two officers were shot and killed early Wednesday as they sat in their squad cars.

"The shootings appear to have been ambush-style attacks," police spokesman Paul Parizek said in a statement.

The suspect in custody is 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene, a white male resident of Urbandale, a Des Moines suburb. Greene is 5 feet 11 inches tall, with brown hair and green eyes, and was last known to be driving a blue 2011 Ford F-150 truck, according to police.

Before he was detained, police said they believed Greene had "information" related to the attack. They also described him as "armed and dangerous," and urged anyone who thought they see him to call 911 and not approach him.

Greene was taken into custody Wednesday morning, after police found him in a county west of Des Moines.

The first shooting happened around 1 a.m. local time, police say; an officer in Urbandale was shot and killed while sitting in a police vehicle. The second shooting occurred about 20 minutes later in Des Moines proper, when a Des Moines officer was similarly shot and killed while sitting in a squad car.

The two officers were about three miles away from each other, and police say they did not appear to have interacted with each other — or with the shooter — leading up to the killings.

"Parizek was emotional during a news conference," The Associated Press reports. "He says there is 'clearly danger' right now for police officers in the area because the officers were gunned down while sitting in their cars doing nothing wrong. He says the department has doubled up its officers to better protect them."

A still image posted to YouTube last month by a user named "Scott Greene" shows a middle-aged man wearing sunglasses holding a Confederate battle flag at what appears to be a high school sports event in Urbandale. Another video shows a man (whose face isn't shown) arguing with police after they have ejected him from the grounds of Urbandale High School for causing a disturbance by waving a Confederate battle flag.

"Have I committed a crime?" the man asks repeatedly, as police tell him the school is private property and he is trespassing. He said an officer assaulted him by grabbing his arm as he was being escorted out of the stadium, and later accused African-American spectators of assaulting him in the stands when they grabbed the flag from his hands. Police returned the flag to him and asked if he wanted to go to the police station to file a report, which he declined to do. The YouTube user "Scott Greene" titled the video "Police Abuse, Civil Rights Violation."

NPR has not confirmed that the videos show or were posted by Scott Michael Greene, the suspect named by police. The man shown in the still image fits Greene's description and some of the older videos on the account purport to show an apartment complex where, according to public records, Greene was living at the time.

The Des Moines Register reports that someone with Greene's name and birthdate pleaded guilty to criminal charges in two separate incidents in 2014.

In one case, Greene pleaded guilty to interference with official acts after a police officer said he was "hostile" and "combative" while resisting an attempt to pat him down for weapons, the newspaper reports.

The other incident occurred two days later, when Greene reportedly approached a man in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

"Greene, who lived in the apartments, called the man the N-word and told the man 'I will kill you, (expletive) kill you,' according to the complaint," the Des Moines register reports. The paper says Greene pleaded guilty to a harassment charge and was sentenced to probation.

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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