Suspect in Fatal Shooting of Iowa Police Officer Caught in Minn.

Sept. 14, 2023
Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram was shot and killed while trying to serve an arrest warrant on a 43-year-old suspect who fled to Minnesota, 100 miles away.

By Matthew Rezab

Source Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa

An Algona police officer was shot to death while trying to arrest a man Wednesday, sparking an intense manhunt that ended with the suspect's capture near Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.

Officer Kevin Cram was killed just before 8 p.m. Wednesday as he tried to serve an arrest warrant to 43-year-old Kyle Ricke, said Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Cram, a 33-year-old husband and father who had been an officer in Algona since 2015, was pronounced dead at Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona.

The shooting took place in the 1100 block of South Minnesota Street in Algona. The officer's death left the normally quiet Kossuth County community of 5,300 stunned.

"Officer Cram was a kind and committed officer on our police force. He was a homegrown hero who served this community proudly and with integrity. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, fellow officers, dispatchers and coworkers during this difficult time," said Algona Mayor Rick Murphy.

Cram worked as an officer with the Nora Springs Police Department from 2013 until 2015 when he made the move to the Algona Police Department.

He worked with Nora Springs Police Chief Jessie Dugan during that time.

"With a two-person police department, Officer Cram and I worked very close together," Dugan said in a statement. "He was a great friend and coworker. We spent time off-duty hunting and fishing together. Officer Cram will be sadly missed by all."

The shooting prompted a Blue Alert, letting the public know a suspect who posed a threat to law enforcement was on the loose. Algona residents were warned to lock their doors and shelter in place. Ricke was captured without incident just before midnight in Brown County, Minnesota, about 100 miles north of Algona. He was charged with first-degree murder, Mortvedt said, and will be held in Minnesota pending extradition.

" Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram died serving his community," Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said during a press conference Thursday morning at the Kossuth County Election Center. " Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram answered the call to serve. Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram died because he chose to be a beacon of light. Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram died because he was willing to stand in the gap between good and evil. Algona Police Officer Kevin Cram died a hero."

"Tragic, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching pain and agony, but we will bow our backs, we will be strong, and we will continue to do our jobs," Bayens said.

Ricke had appeared in Kossuth County court earlier Wednesday on a charge of third-degree harassment.

Cram was on patrol in Algona when he learned an arrest warrant had been issued for Ricke on the harassment charge, Mortvedt said. The officer went to a home where he thought Ricke might be and upon finding him told him he would be arrested. Cram was serving the warrant when Ricke took a handgun and shot the officer.

After shooting, he allegedly yelled "Too late motherf— — " and "I did it 'cause I am tired of this s—."

According to court documents, Ricke was accused of contacting a victim multiple times over the course of two hours and again several days later after police told him to stop. On Aug. 23, the victim showed an officer 63 unread messages and several missed phone calls Ricke had sent to the victim. This happened after the victim had told Ricke she no longer wanted contact with him, court documents state.

Ricke was arrested Aug. 28 and a no contact order was granted Aug. 29. The trial in that case is scheduled for Nov. 3.

During the press conference Bayens said Cram died with honor.

"The law enforcement community in Kossuth County is hurting, but they are not broken. They are shaken, but they are not broken," he said. "Their hearts are heavy, but they will continue to honor Kevin's legacy by being that beacon of light in their communities."

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird released a statement expressing sadness for the loss of a law enforcement officer and honoring his and others' sacrifices.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of law enforcement hero Kevin Cram last night in Algona. Officer Cram wore the badge with honor to serve and protect. As we mourn his heartbreaking loss, we remember Officer Cram's selfless service and keep his family in our prayers. We will never take for granted the sacrifices made to keep us safe, and we will always stand strong alongside our law enforcement heroes."

The state's congressional delegation also posted condolences on social media. "Please join me in saying an extra prayer for our men and women in blue today," Sen. Joni Ernst said.

Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered flags be flown at half-staff Friday in Cram's honor.

"Officer Kevin Cram died a hero, protecting his community and upholding the rule of law. Kevin and I are praying for his family, the Algona Police Department, and all the law enforcement officers in Kossuth County," Reynolds said in a statement. "As flags are lowered across the state, Iowans honor Officer Cram's legacy and stand united with his brothers and sisters in uniform. We will never forget his service and sacrifice."

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(c)2023 Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa

Visit Globe Gazette, Mason City, Iowa at www.globegazette.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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