Brighton man killed during rifle incidentDooley was involved in a high-speed chase Friday
KEOSAUQUA — A Brighton man who was fatally shot by a Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputy Tuesday morning had also led Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase Friday evening.
According to a press release the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Robert M. Dooley, age 59, of Brighton, was shot and killed after raising a rifle at deputies on Highway 2, east of Cantril. The deputy who shot Dooley has been identified as Jon Tharp.
At about 11 a.m. Tuesday, Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to numerous 911 reports of a male subject wearing a military uniform and armed with a rifle walking westbound along Highway 2. The subject was reportedly making obscene gestures at passing motorists. The Mt. Pleasant office of DCI could not be reached late Thursday morning for comment on reports the uniform was a Civil War military uniform or the make of the rifle.
According to a press release from the DCI of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Tharp and Van Buren County Chief Deputy Brad Hudson responded to the reports. When they arrived at Dooley’s location, he was observed with a rifle and was ordered multiple times to drop the firearm.
The press release says Dooley turned toward the deputies and raised the firearm toward them, and due to those actions, Tharp fired one shot resulting in Dooley’s death.
An autopsy was conducted by the State Medical Examiner’s Office Wednesday. According to the press release, the cause of death was a single gunshot wound.
Following Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office policy, Tharp has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the DCI’s investigation.
The DCI continues to investigate the incident and will submit the findings to the Van Buren County Attorney’s Office for review.
Dooley had led Washington County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase Friday, Oct. 12. According to court records, deputies had attempted to stop a silver Mini-Cooper in the City of Kalona for allegedly failing to maintain it’s registration plate. Deputies reported that the driver, later identified as Dooley, had an arrest warrant the previous night. The court records also said that Johnson County had reported that Dooley was known to go armed and had a BB gun that had the appearance of a real pistol.
According to deputies, when the sheriff’s cruiser got behind the Mini-Cooper with its lights flashing, the vehicle activated its emergency lights and Dooley waved at the deputy through the open window before turning at a stop sign.
The vehicle continued, reaching speeds of 80 MPH, and would not yield to the deputy’s vehicle. The report also said the vehicle was forcing other vehicles off the roadway.
The report says Dooley stopped the vehicle at 170th Street and Highway 1 upon seeing stop strips that had been set up in the roadway to stop his vehicle. He was charged with eluding law enforcement and reckless driving.
When asked why he didn’t stop for the deputy’s vehicle, Dooley reportedly said that he just wanted to go home. At the Washington County Jail, he had requested deputies provide him with his medication that he had in a briefcase inside the vehicle.