Perry police chief wounded in Tuesday shooting, suspect charged with four felonies

Allison Ullmann
Perry Chief

The Perry police chief is recovering at a Des Moines hospital after being shot in the leg during a struggle with an armed suspect early Tuesday morning, authorities said. 

Chief Eric Vaughn sustained a single gunshot wound to the upper thigh and was taken by air ambulance to the hospital, Perry Police Sgt. Jim Archer said at a news conference hours after the incident. 

"He's currently doing well, he's in good spirits and he's expected to be released tomorrow," Archer said of Vaughn, who has been chief of Perry police since 2013.

Vaughn, Perry police officers and Dallas County Sheriff's deputies were involved in a "rolling standoff" early Tuesday with a man suspected of shooting out the back window of a vehicle in Perry, Dallas County Chief Deputy Adam Infante said. 

In an open field near the Raccoon River Valley Trail on the west side of town negotiators got Jeremiah Messner, 30, of Perry to drop his gun, Infante said, at which point authorities attempted to arrest him. 

During an ensuing struggle with police Messner was able to recover his weapon and allegedly fired a shot that struck Vaughn, said Infante, who continued: "Deputies employed tasers on Mr. Messner and eventually subdued him and took him into custody."

A later news release said Messner was transported to the Dallas County Hospital before being released to the custody of the Dallas County Sheriff's Office.

Special Agent in Charge Adam DeCamp said in the release that the Division of Criminal Investigation is conducting an investigation into the shooting. DCI agents have charged Messner with four felonies, including attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, going armed with intent and trafficking stolen weapons.