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Man linked to homicide investigation arrested after police standoff at Winterset church

Man linked to homicide investigation arrested after police standoff at Winterset church

A man has been taken into custody after a police chase and a standoff on Sunday morning. West Des Moines police say officers located the vehicle of a man who is a person of interest in a homicide investigation in the Omaha, Nebraska, area. The man has been identified as 27-year-old Gage Walter. West Des Moines police say they attempted to pull over Walter this morning before he took off. Police say Walter was driving a stolen vehicle. The Omaha World Herald reported the vehicle was stolen from a detective investigating the homicide. Officers used stop sticks and the vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of Highway 92 and North 8th Avenue in Winterset, Iowa, according to authorities. Police said the pursuit lasted around 45 minutes. No church parishioners were inside the building at that time and Walter was in the church by himself. “The church was unoccupied at the time, and that’s where he remained for several hours as more law enforcement came to the area,” said Mitch Mortvedt, Assistant Director at the Iowa Division of Criminal investigation. After negotiations with the Iowa State Patrol and West Des Moines Police SWAT teams, Walter surrendered himself without incident. “Negotiators did a great job and brought a peaceful end to this. They can’t be praised enough on that, they did an excellent job,” Winterset Police Chief Ken Burk said.Police say that Walter will face charges in Iowa, including possession of a stolen vehicle, felony eluding, numerous traffic violations, and burglary for breaking into the church.Raw Video: Arrest made in Winterset (video courtesy Michael Hague)But even with a positive outcome, neighbors near the church say they are still in shock from what happened.“It’s an extremely safe and peaceful town so it’s crazy to see something like that happen. But something that was great was to see how quick our first responders were and how amazing of a job they did. They were there right away and they were all over the situation to make sure no one else got hurt,” said neighbor Keegan Jensen. Jensen said he goes to the Catholic church right next door to St. Paul’s when he saw all the action. It frightened him and his parents. “I just saw cops everywhere and I was just extremely confused and worried for everybody’s safety because something either had to be going on at my church or the Lutheran church,” Jensen said. Police said things could have ended a lot differently. They share that residents should always be aware. Things they don’t think could happen in their town still can. “Everybody needs to be vigilant and by vigilant I mean aware,” Mortvedt said. “You do think it’s never going to happen in your small town, especially in smaller communities.”This is a developing story stay with KCCI 8 News online for the latest updates. Man linked to homicide investigation arrested after police standoff at Winterset churchWinterset church holds evening service after morning police standoff

A man has been taken into custody after a police chase and a standoff on Sunday morning.

West Des Moines police say officers located the vehicle of a man who is a person of interest in a homicide investigation in the Omaha, Nebraska, area. The man has been identified as 27-year-old Gage Walter.

West Des Moines police say they attempted to pull over Walter this morning before he took off. Police say Walter was driving a stolen vehicle. The Omaha World Herald reported the vehicle was stolen from a detective investigating the homicide.

Officers used stop sticks and the vehicle came to a stop at the intersection of Highway 92 and North 8th Avenue in Winterset, Iowa, according to authorities. Police said the pursuit lasted around 45 minutes.

Police say that Walter then jumped out of the car and barricaded himself inside St. Paul Lutheran Church. No church parishioners were inside the building at that time and Walter was in the church by himself.

“The church was unoccupied at the time, and that’s where he remained for several hours as more law enforcement came to the area,” said Mitch Mortvedt, Assistant Director at the Iowa Division of Criminal investigation.

After negotiations with the Iowa State Patrol and West Des Moines Police SWAT teams, Walter surrendered himself without incident.

“Negotiators did a great job and brought a peaceful end to this. They can’t be praised enough on that, they did an excellent job,” Winterset Police Chief Ken Burk said.

Police say that Walter will face charges in Iowa, including possession of a stolen vehicle, felony eluding, numerous traffic violations, and burglary for breaking into the church.

Raw Video: Arrest made in Winterset (video courtesy Michael Hague)

But even with a positive outcome, neighbors near the church say they are still in shock from what happened.

“It’s an extremely safe and peaceful town so it’s crazy to see something like that happen. But something that was great was to see how quick our first responders were and how amazing of a job they did. They were there right away and they were all over the situation to make sure no one else got hurt,” said neighbor Keegan Jensen.

Jensen said he goes to the Catholic church right next door to St. Paul’s when he saw all the action. He frightened him and his parents.

“I just saw cops everywhere and I was just extremely confused and worried for everybody’s safety because something either had to be going on at my church or the Lutheran church,” Jensen said.

Police said things could have ended a lot differently. They share that residents should always be aware. Things they don’t think could happen in their town still can.

“Everybody needs to be vigilant and by vigilant I mean aware,” Mortvedt said. “You do think it’s never going to happen in your small town, especially in smaller communities.”

This is a developing story stay with KCCI 8 News online for the latest updates.

Man linked to homicide investigation arrested after police standoff at Winterset church

Winterset church holds evening service after morning police standoff

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