DES MOINES, Iowa —Des Moines police held a news conference Thursday morning to provide more information about the shooting Wednesday.
Police spokesman Sgt. Jason Halifax provided a moment-by-moment rundown of the events as they unfolded on Thursday. He said the motive for the shootings remains unknown.
Police Chief Judy Bradshaw said the situation could have been “horrific.” She said the high powered assault weapon has capabilities far beyond what her officers carry — she said the officers were outgunned. She praised officers for their courage during the situation.
Halifax said the first call about the shooting came into 911 at 3:21 p.m. Many more calls followed with some from witnesses describing the shooting as it was happening.
Witnesses reported to police that a man with a black rifle was being fired into passing cars and into homes.
Halifax said officers could hear the shots as they arrived at the scene and then later could hear the shots hitting items around them as they closed in.
The man was identified as Steven Jon Vogel, 38, who lived at 1018 Creston Ave. He died Wednesday night at the hospital. Police said he had several incidents on his police record dating back to 2005.
Halifax said Vogel fired approximately 100 rounds from his weapon during an incident that lasted around 20 minutes, striking three vehicles and seven homes.
According to Halifax, one of the vehicles that was struck was driven by Larry Chiles, of Urbandale. Chiles received a graze wound to his head. He was able to drive to a medical clinic not far away and was then transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center. His injury was non-life-threatening.
Chiles was listed in good condition Thursday morning and was expected to be released from the hospital Thursday.
Chiles told police that he saw a man fall to his knee and then fire the gun at his car.
Two Des Moines police officers who returned fire during the shooting were Lt. David Seybert and Officer Zachary McCarthy, said Halifax. The officers will be on paid administrative leave during the investigation.
Halifax said a shot from one of the police weapons hit Vogel in the head. Testing is being conducted to determine which officer’s bullet hit Vogel.
On Dec. 4, Vogel, 38, used the high-powered AR-10-style rifle and a handgun to fire almost 100 rounds at neighboring houses, passing vehicles, and responding police officers.
Seven houses and three vehicles were struck and a bullet grazed a motorist’s head before police shot and killed Vogel. The gunfire in the south-side neighborhood lasted about 20 minutes.
Vogel legally bought the rifle in 2007 from a Scheels All Sports, according to a trace by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In 2008, a judge twice ordered Vogel to surrender all weapons to police after police said he pointed what looked like a handgun at two people and, in a separate incident, starting an altercation with someone in a parking lot.
Vogel took the pellet gun to the Des Moines Police Department, officials said.
A police officer’s report at the time said Vogel may have owned up to six guns. But complying with a court order to turn over weapons is the responsibility of the defendant, police said. Officers can’t search someone’s home for additional firearms.
In addition to the rifle, Vogel also used a handgun in the Dec. 4 shooting. That gun was purchased from a licensed dealer in 1999 by a third party but police aren’t sure when Vogel acquired it.
Once a gun enters the private market agencies can no longer track it.
Twenty minutes after the shooting began, it was over. At some point, Vogel was hit by an officer’s gunfire, police said. Vogel fell to the ground in his backyard.
Officers rushed forward, cautious that Vogel was feigning injury. He was found face-down with a gunshot wound to the head, his rifle still in his hands. The handgun was underneath him.
Des Moines police officials have determined which officer fired the shot that killed a Des Moines man who fired almost 100 rounds at houses, cars and other officers on the city’s south side last month.