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Shots fired at law enforcement as they chase couple on Interstate

Police Car LightsHARRISON COUNTY, IOWA – Two people are in custody Tuesday after a high-speed car chase with shots fired in Western Iowa.

At 12:34 PM on May 18, 2015, DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officer Derek Floerchinger located a vehicle parked along the side of I-29 south bound near mile marker 90 in Harrison County. Officer Floerchinger stopped to conduct a motorist assist. Officer Floerchinger made contact with the driver who initially provided a false Iowa Driver’s License. During questioning by Officer Floerchinger, the driver put the car in gear and sped away. Officer Floerchinger then pursued the vehicle and called for assistance. Several Agencies to include the Iowa State Patrol, Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri Valley Police Department responded.

During the pursuit the subject’s vehicle reached rates of speed exceeding 100MPH. At these high rates of speed Officer Floerchinger observed the driver leaning out the driver’s side window; at that point Officer Floerchinger heard a loud noise. One bullet struck Officer Floerchinger’s marked unit.

The driver retreated back into the car and the pursuit continued south bound to a rest area located at the 80 mile marker. In the parking lot the driver lost control of his vehicle and struck a parked vehicle. The driver ran into a wooded area behind the rest area and was later taken into custody by officers from the Missouri Valley Police Department. A female passenger was also taken into custody by Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers. Both subjects were transported to the hospital in Missouri Valley to be checked for injuries and then released to law enforcement.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was requested to conduct the shooting investigation.

The driver of the vehicle is Chauncy Jewett, 17, of Sioux City. The female passenger is Sydney Swanson, 20, of Sioux City, Iowa. The driver has been charged with Attempted Murder, and Ms. Swanson has been charged with Identity Theft and Interference with official acts. The investigation is still ongoing and more charges are pending.

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