Traffic stop leads to police standoff, Iowa state trooper killed, suspect arrested

traffic stop leads to police standoff and iowa state trooper killed suspect arrested
Source: Black Hawk County Jail, Iowa State Patrol

Apr. 23 2021, Updated 9:33 a.m. ET

Link to FacebookShare to XShare to Email

A traffic stop in Iowa led to a police standoff at the home of a 41-year-old man, who authorities say shot and killed an Iowa state trooper.

Article continues below advertisement

Michael Lang, 41, was pulled over by Grundy Center police for a traffic stop at 7:22 p.m. on April 9, the Iowa State Patrol said.

However, Lang fled the scene and was chased to an area southeast of town, police said.

Article continues below advertisement

Lang pulled over, got out of his vehicle and assaulted the Grundy Center police officer who was chasing him, police said.

During the assault, Lang yelled “shoot me” multiple times to the police officer. Lang disarmed the officer of his Taser, removed his radio and then put the officer in a chokehold, authorities said.

Article continues below advertisement

Other officers responded to the area of the assault, as one sheriff’s deputy arrived at the scene, drew his weapon and told Lang to put his hands up. He did not comply and told the officer to “come get me” and got into his vehicle and fled the scene again, police said.

The officer chased Lang, but lost sight of him during the pursuit, so he decided to drive to Lang’s home. Once there, he saw Lang’s vehicle parked in the driveway and Lang was walking into the house through the garage, authorities said. 

Article continues below advertisement

More officers arrived at Lang’s house and set up a perimeter around the house, police said. Lang’s father arrived and told police that Lang had multiple firearms inside the home.


Around 8:55 p.m., Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Jim Smith, along with three additional troopers and a K-9 unit, entered Lang’s house through the garage, police said.

The police began to clear the upstairs of the residence when Smith was shot, as police saw Lang emerge from the doorway holding a black pump-action shotgun.

Two of the police officers went into the basement as others pulled Smith from the house, police said. 

Article continues below advertisement

Lang then barricaded himself in the house and refused to come out. The two officers in the basement stated they heard Lang talk about shooting Smith and wanting to shoot more police officers.

Lang remained barricaded in the house for several hours before a SWAT attempted to make entry into the residence around 11:50 p.m. with a wheeled armored personnel carrier, authorities said.

While Lang shot multiple rounds at the personnel carrier during the entry, he was eventually taken into custody by Iowa State Patrol Tactical Team members, police said.

Article continues below advertisement

Smith, a 27-year-veteran of the Patrol, died from his gunshot wounds and Lang has been charged with first-degree murder, authorities said.

Lang was also charged with attempted murder charges from his attempt to try and kill state troopers in the armored vehicle, as well as an assault charge for his attack on the officer at the traffic stop, police said. 

Lang unsuccessfully launched a run for the Grundy sheriff’s seat last year, according to reporting from The Courier.

Lang is being held in the Black Hawk County Jail with bond set at $3 million.


Become a Front Page Detective

Sign up to receive breaking
Front Page Detectives
news and exclusive investigations.

More Stories

Opt-out of personalized ads

© Copyright 2023 Empire Media Group, Inc. Front Page Detectives is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.