Des Moines officers killed in the line of duty

Posted at 9:37 AM, Mar 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-27 10:37:31-04

Two Des Moines police officers were killed in the line of duty Saturday morning.


"Obviously this is a very sad day for the Des Moines police department. As we face a nightmare that no agency ever wants to experience,” said Des Moines police chief Dana Wingert.


Officer Susan Farrell and Officer Carlos Puente-Morales died while transporting a prisoner from Council Bluffs to Des Moines. The crash happened on Interstate 80 near Waukee around 12:40 a.m.


"Tonight, tomorrow, the next 24 hours, there are going be hundreds of cops going back to work,” said Sgt. Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department. “This doesn't take away from what we do, but it just really hurts."


The officers were driving eastbound when they were struck head on by a vehicle driving the wrong way.


Both officers, the prisoner, and the driver of the other vehicle died.


Farrell and Puente-Morales had just graduated from the police academy in October 2015.


"Please keep the Des Moines police department, the families of the victims in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days,” Chief Wingert said. “We will rally together as a family to get through this."


Farrell was 30 years old, and leaves behind a husband and young daughter. Puente-Morales was 34 years old.


Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has ordered flags to fly at half staff to honor the officers.