September 24, 2021

UPDATE – On September 23, 2021, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office concluded their review of the officer-involved shooting that occurred in Thompson, Iowa on September 11, 2021.  The Iowa Attorney General’s Office ruled that the actions of Deputy Joshua Douglas on September 11, 2021 were entirely legally justified.

Please see the ruling from the Iowa Office of the Attorney General’s Office.  

Previous Press Release by Department of Public Safety on 9-13-2021

On September 11, 2021, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was requested by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an officer-involved shooting that had occurred at 164 Van Buren Street in Thompson, Iowa.  The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office had received a 911 report of an assault at that residence.  Upon arrival, Deputy Josh Douglas encountered resident James Anderson, age 48, who was armed with a loaded 9mm handgun.  Anderson admitted the 911 call was a ruse and that there was no assault.  Anderson refused to drop his handgun as officers negotiated with him for nearly ten minutes.  Anderson was despondent over a recent medical diagnosis.  Anderson pointed his weapon in the direction of officers and was shot one time.  Anderson later died of his injuries.

This incident remains under investigation.  Upon completion of the investigation, the results will be forwarded to the Winnebago County Attorney’s Office and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office for review.

Previous Press Release by Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office on 9-12-21

On September 11, 2021, at approximately 7:01 P.M. the Winnebago County, Iowa Sheriff’s Office dispatch took a report of an alleged assault taking place in Thompson, Iowa.  The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office responded.  A Winnebago County Deputy Sheriff arrived on scene and the alleged assault was determined to be a ruse to draw law enforcement to this address.  
An officer involved shooting took place.  The officer has been placed on administrative leave following the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office policy.  The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating this incident.  
The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the following agencies.  Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Mills Police Department, Forest City Police Department, Kossuth County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa State Patrol, Britt Police Department, Garner Police Department, Thompson Fire Department, Forest City Ambulance service, Buffalo Center Fire Department, Mercy One Air Med.

Citizens with information please contact the Winnebago County Sheriff Steve Hepperly at 641-585-2828.  More information will be released regarding this incident on Monday, September 13, 2021. 

LINK to Winnebago County Officer Involved Shooting Report.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the state. It includes six divisions and several bureaus, all working together with local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to keep Iowa a safe place by following our core values: leadership, integrity, professionalism, courtesy, service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center, and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Safety is led by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.

Iowa Department of Public Safety
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Des Moines IA 50319