Allegedly drunk and suicidal Aaron Scott fired more than a dozen shots at Maquoketa police Sgt. Brendan Zeimet the morning of April 1.
Zeimet returned fire seven times, striking Scott once in the leg. On Monday, Jackson County Attorney Sara Davenport determined Zeimet’s actions were a “reasonable and justifiable” use of force.
According to a news release from the Jackson County Attorney’s Office, Zeimet was finishing up his shift just before 3 a.m. April 1 when he saw Scott’s 2005 Dodge Ram parked on the wrong side of West Grove Street in Maquoketa. When Zeimet went to check on Scott, he noticed the 30-year-old from Wyoming, Iowa was intoxicated and wielding a SKS assault rifle.
Investigators would later learn that, an hour earlier, Scott had a falling out with the woman he was seeing. Scott called his estranged wife and told her she needed to get to the house to take care of their son because he had “a score to settle,” according to the Jackson County Attorney’s Office. At the home, Scott’s wife discovered a number of ammunition boxes and a suicide note.
Investigators said Zeimet ordered Scott to lower the weapon as the officer quickly sought cover. Scott responded by shooting “at least 14 times and as many as 19 times,” according to the news release. At least seven of Scott’s shots penetrated his own truck door and five or six hit Zeimet’s squad car, disabling it. Officials were able to recover footage from Zeimet’s in-car camera, however.
Scott fled the scene and evaded other Maquoketa police officers who attempted to pursue him. His truck was found a short time later, rolled over in a ditch in Clinton County just north of Highway 136 on 150th Avenue. Scott was found inside, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officials said another rifle, a shotgun and a handgun were found inside the vehicle. A large amount of ammunition was found in the truck and in Scott’s pocket, according to the news release.
Officials said Scott struggled with mental health and substance abuse in the past. According to a report from Jones County Sheriff Greg Graver, Scott was suicidal when he accidentally shot Justin Mohr in November 2007. According to the report, Scott was intoxicated, wielding a handgun and threatening suicide. Another friend, Brock Bowman, tried to wrestle the gun away from Scott and the gun discharged, striking Mohr in the chest.
Charges were never filed in the incident.
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