Authorities say new evidence cleared a Maquoketa police officer to return to work, and clarified events that led up to a man dying of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after exchanging gunfire with the officer.
Officer Brendan Zeimet was shot when he approached a truck, parked on the wrong side of the street with its lights out, in the 200 block of West Grove Street just before 3 a.m. Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Iowa State Police previously said 30-year-old Aaron Edward Scott, of Wyoming, Iowa, was in the truck when Zeimet approached. Dash camera video released Monday, April 14, shows a man that police identified as Scott pointing and firing a rifle at Zeimet.
“Scott discharged his SKS assault weapon at least 14 times and as many as 19 times,” investigators said.
Scott fled after the shootout, and he was later found dead in his overturned pickup in Clinton County. Police later said they believed Scott went off the road and into a ditch, where his truck overturned, before he shot himself in the head.
Investigators said that Scott had the SKS assault weapon used in the shooting, a .308 deer rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun in his truck. All which he legally owned.
Scott had reportedly had an argument with a woman he was seeing earlier on the night of the shooting. He then called his estranged wife and told her to go home; and she found guns and ammunition missing from the house.
Police said Scott had also left a note at the house, indicating he planned to die but offering no details about how it might happen. A friend told police Scott did not like the City of Maquoketa or Maquoketa Police.
Investigators said after taking with Scott’s family and friends, he was serving a sentence for an OWI last year in the Jackson County Jail. That’s when the bad blood began.
“He had some problems there, some perceived problems at the jail, and it sounds to me like those problems in his mind were directed to the Maquoketa police department,” said Matt George of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
In 2007, Scott was involved in another shooting, but no charges were filed.
Police said Scott had a history of mental health and alcohol abuse issues.
Officer Zeimet had been on paid administrative leave after the shooting. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and he was expected to return to work on April 14.