Shot kills Rockwell City officer

ROCKWELL CITY – A Rockwell City police officer was shot and killed early Friday morning after responding to a standoff that began Thursday night.

Officer Jamie Buenting, 37, died shortly after 1:30 a.m. He is the first Iowa police officer killed in the line of duty since September 2011, according to Sgt. Scott Bright of the Iowa State Patrol.

The man accused of shooting and killing Buenting, Corey A. Trott, 32, of Rockwell City, has been charged with first-degree murder. He is being held in the Sac County Jail.

Officers had been looking for Trott, who reportedly had attacked his mother days earlier, when they received a call saying he had been spotted at a house at 502 Pleasant St. around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

At a press conference at the Rockwell City Fire Department Friday, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mike Motsinger said that when officers arrived, no one came to the door, but it was apparent that someone was in the house.

Within hours, a tactical team had responded to the home and at 1:15 a.m. Friday, negotiators began to make contact with Trott.

“At approximately 1:40, one gunshot was fired,” Motsinger said. “Officer Jamie Buenting was struck by a bullet.”

Buenting was taken to Stewart Memorial Community Hospital in Lake City, where he was pronounced dead.

After Buenting died, the Iowa State Patrol brought in its own tactical team, and officers made contact with Trott at 5:20 a.m. He surrendered to officers at 5:32 a.m Friday without further incident.

A 12-year veteran of law enforcement, Buenting had been with the four-officer Rockwell City Police Department for eight years. He had previously been a law enforcement officer in Manson and had grown up in Pomeroy.

Additionally, he served as a member on a regional Special Emergency Response Team and was a certified firearms instructor on handgun, shotgun and rifle, through both the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy and the NRA Law Enforcement Division.

Funeral services for Buenting are pending at the Palmer & Swank Funeral Home, in Rockwell City.

He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Motsinger said the family did not wish to make any statement and asked for their privacy to be respected.

“We ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” Motsinger said.

The Rockwell City Police Department also declined to comment about Buenting’s death.

Throughout town, Buenting was remembered as someone who was serious about his job but also kind to those with whom he interacted.

“My finding was that if you dealt with him, he was very professional, but also kind and compassionate,” said local resident Phyllis Kretlow. “I never heard about anybody not liking Jamie.”

Kretlow was at the press conference and said she could tell how much pain Buenting’s fellow officers were going through.

“I could feel the pain in that room that all the officers were feeling,” she said. “They’re all family, and they’re just stunned by what happened.”

Lisa Graves, who lives just a block away from the standoff site, said the incident frightened her.

“You don’t think about that happening in a small town like this,” Graves said.

Graves said Buenting was the officer who responded when she’d had items stolen from her home. She described him as “a really nice guy.”

“Every time you’d see him, he was very upbeat,” she said.

Trott’s initial appearance in Calhoun County Magistrate Court has not yet been scheduled. The case remains under investigation by the DCI.