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Man killed in Fort Madison officer-involved shooting

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South of the Quad Cities, police say an officer shot and killed a man who displayed a knife.

According to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI), it happened at 1:45 a.m. inside a home located in the 1500 block of Avenue E in Fort Madison, Iowa.

According to State Investigators, the Fort Madison Police Department received reports of a man - later identified as Ryan Swearingen, 27 - slashing car tires with a knife in the alley between the 1400 block of Avenue E and Avenue D.

They say when police responded to that area, they chased Swearingen to a home in the 1500 block of Ave E .

"Officers made entry into the home and were encountered by Swearingen.  Swearingen exited a closet and brandished a knife.  Swearingen was shot by an officer and was pronounced dead at the Fort Madison Community Hospital," said a spokesperson from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Pursuant to Fort Madison Police Department policy, authorities say the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave.

The Iowa DCI is taking over the case and investigating the incident.



  • jrandl

    Damned if you do, damned if you dont. To be judged by some one else every second is ridiculous, People are considered idiots until some one else passes judgement on you. As long as i am not breaking the law i am nobody else s business.



    • Hope

      I don’t believe the things people are saying how hurtful to Ryan’s family and friends… We miss and love you brother!!! ❤️

    • Patricia

      I know this officer and he is a family man. I know that he is grieving now over having to defend himself in this way. No caring person really wants to have to take the life of another human being – especially one so young. This young man made a fatal mistake when he came out of the closet with an upraised knife in his hand. Does anyone really think that shooting him in the foot would have stopped him from slashing someone? And a single taser shot might not have slowed him down either.

      • B

        how would you know if a taser would not do it im mean my gf knew the victim i serously doubt he is grieving at all prolly laughing with his friends ok and why didnt he shoot the kneecap and five shots come on now

  • Lisa

    Please remember Ryan was someone’s son, someone’s father, someone’s grandson. This is a tragic event no matter how you look at it.

  • Carl

    Branishing a knife at close range by an assailant can be legally met by the use of force to stop the threat of death or great bodily harm. This would apply to the officer or a civilian as a basic right of self defense. Anyone who disputes this does not know the law

  • R

    They could of used his taser on him, or shot him in the knee or the foot or something. The officer didn’t use his brain. Had it been me who pulled the trigger I would be in jail for murder but since its a cop lets pay him to stay home.

  • T

    I think the FMPD is a joke they are the dirtiest cops ive ever dealt wit, example look at the ex-chief Bill Kester then u have Dustin Fullheart & so on, lettin the wrong people run tht town, only if u knew!! They are all taught self defense to pull a gun on a man they knew is so sad…i feel for ths family my heart goes to them!! F*** the FMPD!!

  • C

    The officer felt his life was at risk. When coming out of a closet, the officer had to act fast. For all he knew, this man had a gun coming out. The officers were risking their own life going into the home, and if all reports are true, the officer had the right. Sad but true

  • k

    Are you people insane? The man sliced some tires, yeah thats not good, but track him down and kill him? I for one do not believe for a second that this man, facing a misdemeanor charge of slicing tires, came at cops with a knife. But I guess we’ll see what truths are revealed if the DCI does a thorough job.

  • trina holman

    I don’t know this young man but poluice seem to be real quick tio pull the trigger but I think of this that could happen with my own kids or family member. police are too
    quick to pull the trigger and my heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of ryan

  • Laurie Mullins

    I do know this young man this was done in front of his parents and youngest son he didn’t have the knife on him!! there were three police no saying get down, no saying we got you covered come out!! Forced there way into the home OF HIS PARENT!! Shot him three THREE times!!! DIDNT DO CPR DIDNT CALL 911 just stood there and watched his poor sister trying to give him CPR. A year and a half ago this young man told me if he was every going to make it he would have to leave this town because the police wanted to take him down. He did just that had a full time job has stayed out of trouble came home for a fishing trip with his dad and boys. Sounds to me like he was on the mark when he said they want to take me down. He was a very sweet young man.

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