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Fatal Davenport Police Shooting Ruled Justified

Body camera footage from the police shooting of Bobby Jo Klum

A Davenport police officer used reasonable force when shot and killed a man in October. Scott County Attorney Mike Walton said Thursday the shooting of Bobby Jo Klum by Officer Mason Roth was justified.

On October 13th, officers were looking for Klum because of a warrant for a sex offender registry violation. He tried to run away and was found a few minutes later holding a gun to his head. Officers spent several minutes trying to talk with him and ordered Klum to drop the gun.

Two officers eventually fired their weapons at Klum, but did not stop him.

Scott County Attorney Michael Walton speaking alongside Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski and an agent from the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation

"After Klum was struck with a less-lethal projectile, he turned and crossed the street in the area of the onlookers. Officer Roth believed that the individuals nearby were in danger, and decided to use deadly force."

It was later found that Klum's weapon was a BB gun, but he never mentioned it or put the weapon down during the ten-minute encounter with police.

Walton says the use of lethal force was justified and reasonable.

"Klum had numerous opportunities to drop his gun or to advise officers it was a BB gun, but for whatever reason he chose not to. The intentional actions by Klum created the appearance that the lives and physical safety of numerous people were in immediate danger. It was reasonable for Officer Roth to shoot Klum to prevent that injury or death to others."

The shooting was investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.