Authorities in Northwest Iowa reported that a father and son have died following a series of incidents on their farm near Hornick.
At about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the Woodbury County Sheriff’s office was contacted by 72-year-old Todd Sulsberger asking for help.
“The Woodbury County Communications Center received a 911 call from a male victim, reporting his son was shooting at him,” Sheriff Chad Sheehan said during a briefing.
Upon arriving at the scene, authorities reported that Sulsberger’s son, 44-year-old Walter Sulsberger, was sitting in his father’s truck on the farm.
“At 9:10 p.m., I made contact with the suspect via phone, and he told me there would be no peaceful resolution and made threats toward law enforcement officers,” the sheriff said.
The sheriff requested backup from the Sioux City Police Department, Iowa State Patrol, and the Tri-county CERT Team. Three armored vehicles and tactical personnel were sent to the scene while the Iowa State Patrol provided air surveillance.
According to reports, the crisis negotiator was on the phone for hours with Walter Sulsberger for hours.
“At approximately 2:45 a.m., while the crisis negotiator was attempting to negotiate a peaceful surrender, the homicide suspect fired multiple shots at tactical teams who were attempting to move in to take the suspect into custody,” Sheehan said. “Being met with gunfire and in fear for their lives and with no other option, law enforcement personnel returned fire, striking the suspect.”
Two of the armored vehicles were struck by gunfire, but no law enforcement personnel were injured. Medical personnel pronounced Walter Sulsberger dead at the scene. The body of Sulsberger’s father was found a short time later.
Before Todd Sulsberger called law enforcement, Sheehan confirmed that dispatchers also received a call that livestock were running loose at the same residence, and that a fire was set to large hay bales on the property.
State agents with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation have been called in to investigate the shootings.
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