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County attorney finds shooting justified

County Attorney finds shooting justified
Posted on 12/14/2017
Davenport Police logo of combined badge and patch of the department.

Scott County Attorney Mike Walton Thursday announced that Davenport Police officers used reasonable force in a fatal shooting as they investigated a break-in early on Nov. 19.

Matthew Tobin was shot while assaulting Officers Brenda Waline and Justin King during the incident at 410 ½ E. 12th St. The officers were dispatched to the scene for a burglary in progress.

“The use of force by Waline and King was reasonable and justified,” Walton said at a media briefing. “I would go beyond that and say the actions of these officers were heroic.”

Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said the information he learned early in the investigation left him no doubt that officers used reasonable force in the incident. The officers are on injury leave and will be transitioned to paid administrative leave as an internal investigation is done that will also review policies, procedures and training.
“Our command staff and our officers continue to pour out support for them,” Sikorski said. Waline is a 19-year veteran and King is a five-year veteran of the department.

Walton provided the following narrative to the media:

When officers arrived about 5 a.m., they found two people in the upstairs apartment. The initial call came from the downstairs resident. They initially encountered two women who claimed they had permission to be there and were alone. They had gained entrance through a door that was supposed to be blocked by a refrigerator.

As they spoke to the women, the officers heard noises in another room. Officer King found the man, who initially gave false names and birthdates before being identified as Tobin. As Tobin remained evasive, King told him to remove his hands from his pockets. Tobin refused.

Tobin tried to flee and when Waline intervened and Tobin punched her several times. Officer King became involved in the struggle and as they wrestled in a hallway, King saw that Tobin had a gun and told Waline.

Tobin shot King, hitting him in the ear. Waline joined the fray with Tobin on the bottom facing down as King was on his back trying to get control of Tobin’s gun. Tobin fired three shots during the struggle. One of those went through the right sleeve of Waline’s uniform.

As the struggle continued, King said he was losing consciousness. Waline shot Tobin who continued to struggle. She fired a second time but Tobin continued to fight King. Waline’s firearm jammed and she had to clear it by ejecting a live round and chambering a new round.

King told Waline he can’t hold on, is passing out, and to “hit him again.” Waline shot Tobin a third time ending the two-minute struggle.

Both officers attempted to radio for help during the incident but the transmission was garbled. Officers heard garbled yelling over the radio and responded to assist. Shortly before units arrived, Waline radioed that shots had been fired, an officer is down and another man shot.

King was found unconscious on top of Tobin. Officers removed him and handcuffed Tobin. EMTs pronounced Tobin dead at the scene. He was shot in the upper left shoulder, lower left flank and center chest.

King received a bullet wound through the right ear and bruises and abrasions to the face and head. Waline received abrasions during the incident.

Interviews with the two officers and two women at the scene were consistent to each other and physical evidence.

A .380 caliber handgun that was fired three times was found near Tobin along with three shell casings. Waline’s 9 mm handgun was fired three times. Three shell casings and the live round ejected when the gun jammed were located. King’s 9 mm handgun was never unholstered and fired.

Tobin was found in possession of 49 grams of methamphetamine, packaging material and cash and also had an active parole warrant out of Cerro Gordo County issued in September.