Father-son shootout in Jefferson leads to arrest warrants

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Greene County arrest warrants have been requested for Rene Omar Guzman, 44, of Paton on charges of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of willful injury causing bodily injury, reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief.


JEFFERSON, Iowa — A Perry man allegedly fired three rounds from a 9 millimeter pistol at his father Saturday afternoon after his father allegedly rammed at high speed the car in which his son was a passenger.

Investigation of the incident is ongoing, according to Greene County Sheriff Jack Williams.

Williams said arrest warrants have been requested for Rene Omar Guzman, 44, of 205 N. Wise St., Paton, on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of willful injury causing bodily injury, reckless driving and second-degree criminal mischief.

The incident began shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, May 29, when a 911 caller reported “that someone was shooting at her vehicle,” which was “east of Jefferson by Hamilton Ready Mix on U.S. Highway 30,” according to court records.

A Greene County Deputy Sheriff and an Iowa State Patrol Trooper responded and found a 2013 Buick Enclave “with heavy front-end damage and three bullet holes in the front of the vehicle” near 220th Street and Oakland Avenue, according to court records.

Inside the disabled vehicle were Guzman, who was driving, and the female 911 caller.

The second vehicle, a 2004 Volvo S60 R, was located a short time later near U.S. Highway 30 and Ninth Street N. in Grand Junction. The car had “heavy rear-end damage” and was occupied by Reed Hillenga, 23, of Berwick, Iowa, who was driving, and passengers Manuel Ochoa, 29, of Perry and Mathew Guzman, 22, of Perry, the son of Rene Guzman.

According to court records, Mathew Guzman “admitted that he shot at the other vehicle three times,” but he said it was done “in self-defense” after his father, Rene Guzman, rammed them on 220th Street near Oakland Avenue.

A Smith & Wesson SD9 VE 9 millimeter handgun was found under the driver’s seat of the Volvo, according to court records. The pistol had one round in the chamber and 10 rounds in the 13-round-capacity magazine.

Rene Guzman told the officers that someone in the Volvo first shot at him on N. Elm Street after a verbal altercation in the Fareway parking lot in the 1200 block of N. Elm Street.

For his part, Hillenga told the officers that shortly after he and his passengers exited the city limits of Jefferson, traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 30, Rene Guzman’s vehicle “approached them from behind and rammed the rear end of their vehicle, disabling it and causing heavy damage,” according to court records.

Ochoa and Mathew Guzman told the officers “they were in fear for their life and in self-defense,” Mathew Guzman “shot at the vehicle,” according to court records. Hillenga and Ochoa complained of neck and back pain following the collision.

“We’ve got two conflicting stories from both parties, ” Sheriff Williams said. “One says he rammed them because they were shooting at him, and the other says that they shot at him after he rammed them. So we’re trying to figure that part out.”

Williams said evidence is still being collected in the investigation.

“There’s a lot of surveillance video that covers that two-mile stretch,” he said, “so we’re waiting for the surveillance video to come in to try and verify who’s telling the truth.”

Williams said the arrest warrants were requested for Rene Guzman in light of the circumstances of the collision.

“He rear ended the other car at 80 mph,” he said, “and if you’re being shot at, you’d think you’d hit the brakes and turn around and get yourself out of that situation. He’s saying where he was initially shot at was over a mile and a half away, so he continued even after what he claims the first shot was fired for a mile and a half and then rammed them.”

Guzman was convicted of assault in 2019 in Greene County District Court.

ThePerryNews.com will update this story as information becomes available.

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