Public Safety

DCI releases identity of Iowa City police officer shot by BB gun before returning fire

Iowa City police investigate at 1200 S. Riverside Dr. Iowa City, on Monday, July 29, 2019. (Lee Hermiston/The Gazette)
Iowa City police investigate at 1200 S. Riverside Dr. Iowa City, on Monday, July 29, 2019. (Lee Hermiston/The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has identified Michael Clark as the Iowa City police officer injured by a BB gun earlier this week.

The DCI announced Thursday it had interviewed Officers Clark and Trai Bunch as part of its investigation into Monday’s officer-involved shooting of Cierra M. Lewis, 25, of Iowa City.

“Both officers provided voluntary statements and have cooperated with the investigation,” the DCI said in a news release. “Preliminary findings indicate Officer Clark discharged his duty weapon in response to a threat imposed upon him by Lewis.”

Authorities previously said Lewis was suspected of shoplifting at Starbucks, 11 Highway 1 West, around 3:29 p.m. Monday.

When police responded, Lewis refused Clark’s commands and pulled a BB gun, police said.

Lewis shot at Clark multiple times, hitting him in the face and causing a “serious injury requiring medical treatment.”

Clark fired his gun and hit Lewis.

Both were hospitalized and have been released.

DCI said Bunch arrived after the shooting took place and helped arrest Lewis.

Lewis’ weapon was a “replica-style CO2 BB-pistol,” according to Iowa City police criminal complaints.

Lewis is jailed on charges of willful injury causing serious injury and assault with a weapon on a peace officer. Her bond is set at $75,000 cash or surety.

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Clark has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is normal procedure in an officer-involved shooting.

The DCI investigation will be presented to the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, which will make a determination on whether Clark’s use of force was justified.

• Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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