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Linn County Attorney: Fatal shooting of suspect by CRPD officer was justified


Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

The Linn County Attorney’s Office has determined that Cedar Rapids Police Officer Kyzer Moore was legally justified when he fatally shot Arnell States in February while responding to a stabbing incident.

County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said he came to that conclusion after reviewing the report prepared by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) following its investigation of the shooting, and examining video footage and audio from Moore’s body camera.

“Officer Kyzer Moore was confronted with a volatile and dangerous situation involving a clear and direct threat to his life and was legally justified in using deadly force to defend himself,” Vander Sanden said in the official report, which was made public on Wednesday.

The body camera footage from the incident and clips of surveillance camera footage from the motel cameras were also made public. The Cedar Rapids Police Department posted the five-minute video on their Facebook page with a disclaimer stating the video might be disturbing to viewers.

At 1:46 a.m. on Feb. 20, the Cedar Rapids Communication Agency received a disturbance report at the Rodeway Inn on 16th Avea SW in Cedar Rapids. Moore was in the area on routine patrol and responded to the call.

States’ wife Katrina Brinson and another woman, who has been identified as Kendra White, were inside the motel. Both women had knife wounds but were conscious when Moore arrived on the scene. The women directed Moore to States, who had exited the motel.

Moore called for back-up and proceeded to take the same exit as States did. Shortly after exiting the motel, Moore found States, who had fallen on the snow. Moore noticed the knife in States’ right hand when the man stood up, according to the report.

Moore yelled “stop” and directed States to “get on the ground,” but States did not follow the commands. States can be heard saying “no” and “shoot me” while taking several steps back.

States then raised his knife and began to walk toward Moore. Moore loudly yelled “drop the knife” twice before firing his gun five times. Two of the shots hit States, according to the report.

States was transported to a hospital for medical treatment but died from his injuries on Feb. 23. An autopsy performed by the State Medical Examiner’s Office found States was shot once in his upper right shoulder and once in the left lower area of his chest.

Brinson and White were also transported to a local hospital. Brinson died from her injuries, and White was treated and released from the hospital.

Moore was interviewed by DCI agents shortly after the incident and his description matched what was seen in the body camera footage, according to the report. The body camera footage and audio, which was reviewed by Little Village, matches the summary in Vander Sanden’s report.

According to Moore, he fired his gun because it was a potentially deadly situation, and his taser or pepper spray would not have stopped States from coming at him with the knife.

“It was reasonable and justifiable for Officer Moore to draw and fire his service weapon when confronted by a subject who was not only armed with a knife but ignored clear and repeated directives to drop his weapon,” according to the report.

No criminal charges will be filed against Moore since the shooting was deemed necessary and a “justifiable homicide under the applicable laws on self-defense under the Iowa Code.”

The report concludes by saying the investigation into the fatal shooting is now closed.


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