Investigation of Stuart officer-involved shooting continues

One adult male unaccounted for, according to Iowa DCI statement


Randall Lee Comly

DES MOINES, Iowa — Charges are still pending in the Thursday night shoot out in Stuart that left three law enforcement officers and the suspected shooter with gunshot wounds.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Major Crimes Unit released information Friday about the ongoing investigation, including the identities of the injured.

According to the DCI, the event began about 10:40 p.m. when four officers attempted to arrest Randall Lee Comly, 52, at his residence 615 S.W. Seventh St., #1, in Stuart on felony warrants.

“The officers knocked on the apartment door, where they were met by an adult male, not Randall Comly,” the DCI statement said. “The officers entered the apartment and while searching for Mr. Comly, the officers were met with gunfire. The officers returned fire. In the exchange of gunfire, two deputies sustained non-life-threatening gunshot wounds, and a third deputy sustained a gunpowder burn.”

Law enforcement officers injured in the shoot out were 13-year Guthrie County Deputy Sheriff Kent Gries, seven-year Guthrie County Deputy Sheriff Steven Henry and five-year Guthrie County Deputy Sheriff Jim Mink.

The injured officers were transported to Des Moines Hospitals. Stuart Police Department Officer Tyler DeFrancisco, a first-year officer, was present at the warrant service but uninjured.

Comly also sustained a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. He was transported to a Des Moines hospital and remains in law enforcement custody.

“No criminal charges have been filed related to this shooting,” the DCI statement said.

Two adult females were also inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, according to the DCI. Neither female was injured in the crossfire.

The DCI statement does not account for the adult male who answered the door and who presumably remains at large.

The DCI said the investigation should be completed in “several weeks.” It will then provide the Adair County Attorney’s office with all reports, evidence and body camera video collected in the investigation.

The DCI said more than 50 police officers, deputy sheriffs and Iowa State Patrol troopers responded to the report of officers down. The law enforcement agents were able to secure the area, evacuate neighbors, negotiate a peaceful ending to the incident and take Comly into custody.

*A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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