Probation officer involved in Council Bluffs suspect shooting cleared

(Council Bluffs, IA) -- No criminal charges will be filed against a parole officer who shot a suspect in Council Bluffs.

Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber says charges won't be filed against Parole Officer Mike Brown after he shot Brandon Hines on Friday, August 20th. According to a release from Wilber's office, during the week of August 16th, Brown was attempting to locate Kelsey Hanna, who was wanted for escape. Brown got a text message that Hanna may be riding in a black Ford Flex which had been seen in the 300 block of North 7th Street in Council Bluffs.

Brown also received information that Hanna may be with her boyfriend Brandon Hines, who was known to Brown as a result of an incident in 2017 while Brown was a police officer in Council Bluffs. That prior incident involved a brief car chase and ended with Brown having to deploy his Taser against Hines while taking him into custody.

Around 11:00 AM on August 20th, Brown noticed a black Ford Flex with Nebraska plates facing north on 27th Street between Avenue G and McBride in Council Bluffs. In addition to the escape warrant for Kelsey Hanna, Brown received information that there was a valid arrest warrant for Brandon Hines for being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon, obstruction of justice, and domestic abuse assault. Wilber's office says Brown was parked around a corner where he could see the black Ford Flex, with another parole officer, Dan Newby, positioned in a similar location. At some point between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m., Brown observed Hines and Hanna exit a white house and head toward the Ford Flex.

According to the release, Brown notified Newby that they were coming out and he pulled his unmarked Dodge Durango in front of the Flex while activating his emergency lights. Brown put the Durango in park, got out of his Durango, and drew his service weapon as Hines continued to get into the driver’s seat of the Ford Flex. Hanna got into the vehicle through the rear passenger door. Officer Newby had pulled up to the rear of the Ford Flex at this time as well so that the black Ford Flex was mostly blocked in. Hines made direct eye contact with Brown during the encounter. Wilber's office says Brown was wearing a vest with the word “Police” clearly labeled in both front and back.

Hines threw the Flex into reverse and accelerated, crashing into Newby’s vehicle. He then put the car into drive and headed directly toward Brown. Wilber's office says Brown’s vehicle was slightly offset toward the passenger side of the Flex, so the way was basically clear for Hines had he chosen to head onto the street. Nevertheless, Hines continued to stare directly at Brown as he accelerated forward. That is when Brown fired his service weapon at Hines six times as the vehicle headed toward him and he attempted to back away. The car struck Brown’s leg and ran over his foot, knocking Brown backwards. Hines continued to accelerate to the north along the sidewalk of 27th Street and then the Flex turned eastbound on McBride and moved out of sight.

The black Ford Flex driven by Hines was located by Council Bluffs Police officers and a pursuit began which ended up crossing the Missouri River into Nebraska. Kelsey Hanna jumped out of the Flex at some point during the pursuit and was apprehended around Frank Street in Council Bluffs. Hines was eventually apprehended by the Nebraska State Patrol.

Hines was transported to the University of Nebraska Medical Center for treatment, where he was ultimately found to have been shot in the right shoulder and hand. Those injuries were repaired and Hines was discharged from the hospital. Hines also tested positive for amphetamines. Kelsey Hanna was transported to the Council Bluffs Police Department. She repeatedly yelled profanities at officers and declined to be interviewed. At this point she was transported to the Pottawattamie County Jail. Brandon Hines also declined to be interviewed at UNMC.

Wilber says that charges won't be filed because, "at the time the shots were fired by Probation/Parole Officer Brown, he reasonably believed that deadly force was necessary to defend himself from deadly force being used (or to be imminently used) by Brandon Hines."

An arrest warrant for Brandon Hines has been issued charging him with assault on a peace officer with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to inflict serious injury, and felony theft. He is still being held at the Douglas County Jail in Omaha, Nebraska until his extradition to Iowa.

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