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August 25, 2023

Iowa Attorney General’s Office Concludes Council Bluffs and Omaha Police Officers Acted with Legal Justification in Shooting

DES MOINES- The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has completed its review of the fatal shooting of Matthew Briggs by two police officers from Council Bluffs and Omaha that occurred on July 8, 2023. In a report issued today, the office concluded that the actions of the officers, who shot Briggs only after he aimed a shotgun at them from a vehicle he had carjacked, were “legally justified” and that “no criminal charges are warranted."

The Attorney General’s conclusion was based on a review and investigation by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. The investigation found that on July 8, Briggs was identified as a suspect in a murder committed that day in Omaha involving both a handgun and shotgun. The Omaha Police Department conducted a search of the scene but did not locate the suspect. As the search concluded, a carjacking involving a handgun and shotgun was reported in nearby Bellevue, Nebraska, and police determined that the carjacking suspect was Briggs.

Omaha and Bellevue police pursued Briggs from Nebraska into Mills and Pottawattamie Counties. The pursuit ultimately lasted more than 20 minutes, during which Briggs evaded an attempt to stop his stolen car with tire-deflation devices. Finally, a Council Bluffs police officer brought Briggs’s stolen car to a halt by using his cruiser to perform a pursuit intervention technique. Law enforcement officers attempted to end the situation peacefully, but Briggs aimed his shotgun at the officers, who then opened fire.

The report is issued under the Attorney General’s independent authority under Iowa Code section 13.12 to investigate or prosecute conduct of law enforcement that results in death.

A copy of the report is available here.


For More Information:

Alyssa Brouillet | Press Secretary


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