(Council Bluffs) – A Council Bluffs police officer who shot and killed an Essex man holding a gun on a woman last week will not face charges.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber announced Monday that Council Bluffs Police Officer Paul Damrow was justified in firing the shot that killed 28-year-old Troy Petersen. Authorities say Petersen was pointing a gun at 44-year-old April Montello-Roberts of Shenandoah in a wrecked pickup following a high-speed chase. Wilber says his decision was based on drone footage that corroborated officers’ statements regarding the incident. At one point, Wilber says it was unclear if the woman was in danger.
“She, at one point, reached out and caressed his head,” said Wilber. “They smoked cigarettes together, as well. So, there was definitely some concerns that this may or may not be a legitimate hostage situation.”
Wilber says officers were hoping for a peaceful end to the standoff after Petersen threw out a rifle. But then, the situation dramatically changed inside the pickup.
“All of a sudden, he (Petersen) pulled out a silver revolver,” said Wilber, “and put that revolver to April Roberts’ head, and he (Damrow) said he could tell something had changed. The look on her face became one of fear.”
Authorities allege Petersen and Montello-Roberts shot and killed 52-year-old Jerrot Clark back on August 4th and 51-year-old Steven Carlson on Wednesday. Montello-Roberts is being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on two counts of 1st degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, 1st degree robbery, and 1st degree burglary. She’s being held in the Pottawattamie County Jail on $2.2 million. A preliminary court appearance is scheduled for Friday.
NOTE: WOWT in Omaha contributed to this story.