Officers names released in fatal shooting incident

The Bremer County Attorney’s Office has released the names of law enforcement officers involved in a standoff and ultimately fatal shooting incident on Jan. 18.

The incident occurred on Highway 218 southbound at the 211.5 mile marker, which is inside Bremer County. Jihad Merrick, age 29, of Minneapolis was the driver killed during a standoff with officers outside of Plainfield.

The law enforcement officers are, in no particular order, Trooper Nathaniel Miller; Trooper Chris Forsyth; Trooper Ken Haut; Bremer County Deputy Glenn Beenblossom; Nashua Police Officer Benjamin Scholl; Chickasaw County Deputy Adam Hanson; and Chief of Nashua Police Travis Marvin. 

According to Marvin, this is the first officer-involved shooting for his department. The Nashua police department consists of four full time officers, two part-time officers, and three certified reserve officers.

According to the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office received a call on Jan. 18 at about 8:30 p.m. reporting a man with a gun pointed at his own head at Love’s Travel Stop in Floyd. Deputies responded to the truck stop, but the man had left before they arrived, and witnesses said he had driven southbound on the Avenue of the Saints, Highway 27/218.

At 8:49 p.m., a Nashua police officer saw a vehicle traveling south on the Avenue and clocked it at 104 mph.

Bremer County Chief Deputy Robert Whitney said the Nashua officer stopped the vehicle south of the Plainfield/Highway 188 exit and saw the driver get out of the vehicle with a handgun pointed at his own head.

“This incident occurred on Highway 218 southbound at the 211.5-mile marker, which is inside Bremer County,” according to the report.

Officers from the Bremer County Sheriff’s Office, the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Nashua Police Department and the Iowa State Patrol responded to the scene.

Officers negotiated with the driver for about 40 minutes, then saw and heard a shot fired inside the vehicle.

Officers approached the vehicle and found the driver unharmed, the report said. They attempted to take him into custody but he resisted and drove his vehicle forward, striking an officer. 

Two officers fired their weapons and struck the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The release did not specify which two officers fired their weapons.

The release also did not specify as to which officer was hit by the vehicle, but shortly after the incident, Whitney said that the officer was “in good spirits” and Whitney did not think that the officer needed medical attention after being struck.

New Hampton Tribune

10 North Chestnut Ave
New Hampton, IA 50659
Phone: (641) 394-2111

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