Crime, Law and Justice

Iowa police officer killed; suspect captured hours later in Minnesota

A group of law enforcement officers gathers at a news conference
Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens speaks during a press conference at the Kossuth County Election Center on Thursday in Algona, Iowa.
Lily Smith | The Des Moines Register via AP

Updated: Sept. 20, 1:45 p.m. | Posted: Sept. 14, 2:04 p.m.

An Iowa police officer died Wednesday night after being shot while trying to arrest a man who was later captured in Minnesota, officials said Thursday. He was laid to rest on Sept. 20, KAAL reported.

Algona police officer Kevin Cram was shot just before 8 p.m. Wednesday as he tried to serve an arrest warrant on 43-year-old Kyle Ricke, said Mitch Mortvedt, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Cram, a 33-year-old husband and father who had been an officer in Algona since 2015, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police officer poses in front of a Blue Lives Matter flag
Algona, Iowa, police officer Kevin Cram, who was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday.
Iowa Department of Public Safety

The shooting in the community about 30 miles south of the Minnesota state line prompted an alert to let the public know a suspect who posed a potential threat to law enforcement was on the loose. Ricke was located just before midnight at a relative's home outside Sleepy Eye, Minn., where state troopers, Brown County sheriff’s deputies and Sleepy Eye police arrested him without incident.

“Tragic, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching pain and agony, but we will bow our backs, we will be strong, and we will continue to do our jobs,” Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said at a news conference.

Cram was on patrol in Algona, a town of about 5,300 residents, when he learned of an active arrest warrant for Ricke on a charge of harassment, Mortvedt said. The officer saw Ricke and told him he would be arrested. That’s when Ricke shot him, Mortvedt said.

Ricke was charged with first-degree murder, Mortvedt said, and was being held in Minnesota pending extradition. A phone message left with Ricke’s attorney in the harassment case was not immediately returned.

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