(Council Bluffs) -- The two suspects in Wednesday's high speed chase in Pottawattamie County that ended in a deadly officer-involved shooting have been identified as an Essex man and Shenandoah woman. Authorities allege the two suspects also murdered two Council Bluffs residents in separate incidents.
At a Thursday morning press conference, Council Bluffs Police Chief Tim Carmody told reporters that 28-year-old Troy E. Petersen of Essex was the man shot and killed by a Council Bluffs Police Officer early Wednesday morning following a high speed chase. The female in the vehicle that Petersen was allegedly pointing a gun at has been identified as 44-year-old April Montello-Roberts of Shenandoah.
"Officers actively worked to communicate with Petersen using a PA system in the attempt to talk to him," Carmody said. "Petersen was holding a black rifle at that time and he refused to surrender or release Montello-Roberts. At about 2:41 a.m. and after the vehicle had come to rest, Petersen indicated he was holding Montello-Roberts as a hostage. Officers on the scene continued to negotiate with Petersen for the better part of two hours. During the negotiations, officers tried to convince him to throw one of the guns out of the truck, which they did release one weapon. However, at approximately 4:26 a.m., Petersen began pointing a firearm at Montello-Roberts' head. In an effort to save her life, a Council Bluffs Police Officer fired one round from a rifle through the windshield, striking Petersen in the head. The shot incapacitated Petersen, allowing officers to move in and rescue Montello-Roberts."
In a bizarre twist, Chief Carmody says that after the chase and officer-involved shooting occurred, authorities learned that both Petersen and Montello-Roberts were connected to the death of 52-year-old Jerrot Clark of Council Bluffs on Sunday at 2103 6th Avenue. During Wednesday morning's chase, at one point both Petersen and Montello-Roberts eluded a Pottawattamie County Sheriff's deputy, who lost sight of their vehicle. During the time frame at which authorities didn't know their whereabouts, Chief Carmody says Petersen and Montello-Roberts entered a residence a 270 Yellow Pole Road and shot and killed 51-year-old Steven P. Carlson of Council Bluffs.
"None of the officers or deputies in the Indian Hills incident were aware that Petersen or Montello-Roberts were connected to the Clark homicide, nor were they aware that they were involved in the Carlson homicide. It was only through yesterday's case and the interviews that we were able to connect these cases. During a short time that deputies and officers lost sight of Petersen and Montello-Roberts, they forced entry into the residence on Yellow Pole Road and shot and killed Carlson. Unfortunately, we didn't learn about that part of this tragedy until Mr. Carlson's family discovered him later in the day."
Chief Carmody described the entire situation as a tragedy and "baffling." He says its unknown at this time why Petersen and Montello-Roberts allegedly murdered two random people.
"It just shocks the conscience that there are people in our community that do things like this," Carmody said. "We see things all the time as law enforcement officers that make us step back and wonder, but when people are randomly picking a house out like this, it doesn't make any sense. Quite often, people have some type of connection with the victims involved, but this is baffling."
The name of the Council Bluffs Police Officer who shot and killed Petersen following the high speed chase is not being named at this time as the investigation continues. Chief Carmody noted the officer is a nine-year respected veteran of the department.
"When we set up on an incident like that, the goal is to get everyone out safely," Carmody said. "The sad fact is that the person who controls the level of force that an officer has to use in a situation like that is the suspect. That suspect has the weapon and can surrender at anytime, but they chose not to. In that instance, our goal is to talk to them and calm them down to bring them to the point where they surrender. However, (Petersen) chose not to do that. The result of his actions was he ended up getting killed in the process."
Montello-Roberts is in custody at the Pottawattamie County Jail on the following charges: two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, first degree robbery, and first degree burglary. She's being held without bond. Chief Carmody says crime scene photos and crime scene videos will not be released to ensure Montello-Roberts preserves her opportunities for a fair trial.
The case is being investigated by the State of Iowa's Division of Criminal Investigation with assistance from the Pottawattamie County Sheriff's Office, Council Bluffs Police Department, Page County Sheriff's Office, and the Shenandoah Police Department.