BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
Editors Note: A video of the incident prior to the shooting is available at the bottom of this article. The video was released by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
MONTROSE – The Iowa Attorney General’s office issued a statement today indicating the shooting of a Montrose man early last week was a “justifiable” shooting and considers the case closed.
Lee County Attorney Clinton Boddicker released a statement at 3 p.m. stating that Lee County Deputy Dakota Foley had been cleared of any wrongdoing in a shooting that took place June 12 at about 12:35 a.m.
The suspect, Joshua Welborn, has been charged with burglary in the first degree, criminal mischief in the 2nd degree, and assault on a peace officer. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said the issue was never in question with him.
“I never doubted the outcome,” Weber said. “Deputies Foley and Bentley are well-trained and reasonable. I anticipated the (AG’s response) as I also reviewed all the video involved. But it’s always good policy to have an independent third party review these types of things.”
Weber released details of the incident this afternoon.
“On June 12th, 2017 Deputies Dakota Foley and Evan Bentley responded to an emergency call of a burglary in progress at 2480 270th Street #15 at 12:14 a.m.
Upon arrival, Deputy Foley encountered a man inside the residence beating on the walls with an unknown object. Deputy Foley announced who he was and the man exited the residence and began to walk towards Deputy Foley. The man had blood on his arms from his hands to his wrists and he was carrying a large metal hammer in his hand. Deputy Foley ordered the man to show his hands and to stop numerous times, all while backing away from the man to avoid being assaulted.
When Deputy Foley backed beyond his partner, Deputy Evan Bentley, the man hesitated and began to raise the object in his hand in a manner that both deputies felt he was going to hit Deputy Bentley. Deputy Foley used his 40-caliber Glock firearm to fire one round into the torso of the man, stopping the threat to himself and his partner.
Shortly after the man was shot, both Deputy Foley and Bentley began life saving measures to assure the man was cared for until First Responders could advance to the scene. During this time and interactions, the man identified himself as Joshua Welborn.
Montrose Fire and Rescue, along with Lee County EMS, stabilized Mr. Welborn and transported him to the Fort Madison ER where he was then air lifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals.
Today, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office released their findings of the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation, clearing Deputy Foley of any wrongdoing. In the letter, the Attorney General’s Office
commends the actions taken by Deputy Foley by saying ‘Deputy Foley demonstrated great restraint in his actions toward Welborn. He attempted to resolve a very intense situation peacefully and fired only when necessary’.”
Weber said a portion of the body camera footage will be made available to the public, however he cautioned that the case is an ongoing investigation and part of the video “needs to remain preserved for a viewing by a jury if Mr. Welborn so chooses to go to trial.”
Deputy Foley has been a member of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for the past two years.