Early Wednesday morning, a tragedy happened in the city of Urbandale, Iowa. At 1:06 a.m., witnesses called in shots fired on a patrol car.
Urbandale police officer Justin Martin was found shot and killed in an ambush-style attack. Anthony Beminio, a Des Moines, Iowa officer patrolling two miles away, was the first to respond to the shots fired call. He was also found shot in an ambush-style attack in his patrol car. He was taken to the hospital where he later died of his injuries. This attack has been broadcasted nationwide but has the most impact on the Des Moines and Urbandale communities.
In Urbandale, some schools were cancelled due to the crime scene area. Students took that as a day to offer condolences to the families of the cops; one of the activities being putting flowers on the windshields of patrol cars. But for Des Moines students, school was still in session.
Some parents became worried about their child’s’ safety with going to school that day.
“When my mom found out about it like when she was watching the news… she told me like three times don’t do anything outside of [school] today like don’t draw attention to yourself” said Vanessa Jones, a student at Central Academy.
Fear and sadness was an effect felt throughout both communities. There was much fear hearing about these killings and seeing that it was so close to home.
“I just feel like we’re in this really scary place right now with the election and stuff coming up I think people [are] just being on pins and needles,” said Kristopher Rollins, a teacher at Central Academy.
Being sad was what could be expected. Urbandale teachers and staff decided to talk with the kids and guide them in the right direction.
“They basically said that if you need to talk to someone the school counselors and teachers will be there to help and listen to whatever is on your mind,” said Blake Shiffer, an Urbandale High School student.
Having supportive teachers and community was key to the grieving of the two fallen officers. Sometimes people think it’s hard to support one another when everyone is in a sad state of mind. Even the students had a sad vibe going through their school day, but was still found a way to support the officers.
“The support for the Urbandale police has been overwhelming. We have all been very pleased with how much the community has shown their love and respect for the Urbandale police. Students brought our school resource officer gifts and flowers and made a sign expressing their appreciation. The support for our SRO and Urbandale police is one positive that has emerged from a very bad situation” said Urbandale High School Principal Dr. Brian Coppess.
Even though they may be 16 or 17, teenagers still have a concept of reality. This recent shooting has opened their eyes to the world we live in and instead of retaliating, they have continuously offered condolences and showed support.
These two officers will never be forgotten.