116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / News / Crime and Courts
Cedar Rapids police fatal shooting ruled justified
Video shows man was threatening officers with a knife
CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids police fatal shooting of a man suspected of attacking his girlfriend in August — which initially drew protests until authorities released video of the incident showing the man threatening officers with a knife — was justified, officials said Wednesday.
Linn County Attorney Nick Maybanks released a report from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office detailing the investigation into the Aug. 30 officer-involved shooting of William Isaac Rich, 22, outside a transitional housing complex.
“I have reviewed the findings of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office regarding the officer-involved shooting that occurred on August 30, 2022, at the Inn Circle. I concur with the analysis used and the conclusions of the investigation. As a result of the findings, the Linn County Attorney’s Office will not conduct any further investigation and will not pursue criminal charges against Officers Sgt. Bryson Garringer or Investigator Chris Christy,” the statement from Maybanks reads.
“... the first volley of gunshots struck Rich but did not stop him. When Rich retreated, he positioned himself in a three-point stance and came at the officers a second time with the knife in hand.”
Christy and Garringer were the two Cedar Rapids officers involved in the shooting, which happened at Inn Circle, a transitional housing site at 5560 Sixth St. SW.
According to the report from the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, the officers responded just before 1 a.m. to the Inn Circle. Rich’s girlfriend had called 911 to say that Rich choked, punched and tried to drown her. She said she believed he was going to kill her.
When officers arrived, Rich was armed with a knife and refused to follow commands. The Cedar Rapids Police Department released video footage of the shooting in September, after family members of Rich protested for the right to see the video.
In the police body camera video, the knife Rich was carrying is shown. Rich can be seen fighting with the officers. At one point, he is pushed back and three shots are heard, followed by an officer shouting, “Get on the ground, now.” Rich falls over but attempts to get back up, at which point four more gunshots are heard and Rich stops moving.
“It is … clear from the video that Rich was armed with a knife and that he had it in his hand in a position to stab either of the officers. The knife was approximately eight inches in length and had a pointed tip. It was reported that the knife was taken from the apartment of the 911 caller,” the Attorney General’s report states.
“It is also clear from the video that the first volley of gunshots struck Rich but did not stop him. When Rich retreated, he positioned himself in a three-point stance and came at the officers a second time with the knife in hand.”
The report also states that even though Rich’s girlfriend was “extremely distraught” after Rich was shot, she “repeatedly thanked officers for their response and possibly saving her life.”
The Attorney General’s report concluded that the shooting was justified.
“Prior to discharging any weapon toward Rich, officers were faced with a deadly threat solely created by Rich,” the report states. “Attempts were made by officers to end the situation peacefully; however, Rich quickly escalated the confrontation with police and did so while armed with an eight-inch knife.”
Comments: (319) 398-8328; email@example.com