West Des Moines police shoot, kill man with knife Wednesday

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Jonathan Joseph Pingel, 26, of West Des Moines was shot and killed Wednesday night by officers of the West Des Moines Police Department after he allegedly refused to drop a knife.


West Des Moines Police Officer Nathan Grove, left, and West Des Moines Police Officer Matthew Wood shot and killed Jonathan Pingel, 26, of West Des Moines Wednesday night after Pingel refused to drop a knife while approaching the police officers, according to a DCI statement.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Two West Des Moines Police Department officers shot and killed a West Des Moines man Wednesday night when he came at them with a knife, according to a statement released Thursday by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI).

The shooting victim was convicted in October 2018 of assaulting one of the officers by kicking him in the chest during a prior incident.

Jonathan Pingel, 26, of West Des Moines died in a Des Moines hospital of gunshots fired by West Des Moines Police Officer Nathan Grove and West Des Moines Police Officer Matthew Wood.

According to the DCI statement, Grove and Woods were dispatched to a residence at 1036 Woodland Park Drive about 8:28 p.m. Wednesday on a 911 report of a domestic disturbance.

After meeting with the homeowner, Grove and Wood entered the residence, where they encountered Pingel, who was armed with a hunting-style knife.

Grove and Wood ordered Pingel “to drop the knife,” according to the DCI statement, but Pingel “did not comply with the officers’ commands and advanced toward the officers with the knife.”

Grove and Wood “each discharged their firearm,” the statement said. Medical assistance was provided by the officers and EMS personnel, and Pingel was transported to a Des Moines hospital, where he died.

DCI agents and crime scene personnel are investigating the shooting. The DCI statement said the officers’ body cameras recorded the encounter, but the “videos, which are part of the investigation, are not being released at this time.”

Grove and Wood were placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting, in accord with West Des Moines Police Department policy.

The DCI said the Polk County Medical Examiner’s office will conduct an autopsy on the body of Pingel.

Once the investigation is complete, the DCI will provide all findings to the Polk County Attorney’s office, which will possibly summon a grand jury to consider preferring charges. The DCI said the process might take weeks.

No additional information will be released concerning this investigation, the DCI said.

Pingel was convicted in October 2018 in Polk County District Court of first-offense OWI, assault causing bodily injury or mental illness and eluding in connection with a November 2017 incident in West Des Moines.

According to court records, Pingel “did unlawfully kick a police officer in the chest, while actively resisting arrest” in the course of the incident. The officer Pingel kicked was Grove.

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