Pubdate: Wed, 11 May 2005
Source: Des Moines Register (IA)
Section: Crime/Courts
Copyright: 2005 The Des Moines Register.
Author: Abby Simons, Staff Writer


It was almost surreal for Mike Boie.

At the time of Tuesday evening's shooting that left three police officers 
and two suspects injured, the St. Paul, Minn., resident was watching a 
rerun of "The Simpsons" in his first-floor Heartland Inn hotel room. On the 
screen, Homer was trying to convince Marge of the safety of handguns.

"At that time I heard what sounded like 20 gunshots," he said. "I thought 
somebody was banging on the door, I almost went to the hallway to see why 
someone was banging on something. When I realized what it was, I just kept 
my head down."

Boie then looked out his window to see a female police officer run by, 
lifting her leg and yelling to other officers that she had been shot. The 
fire alarms went off, and Boie ran from his hotel room.

More than an hour after the shootings, Boie waited outside with dozens of 
other hotel guests as police continued their investigation. At least one 
woman who witnessed the incident was taken to the Des Moines Police 
Department for questioning.

Some were not allowed to return to the hotel for much of the evening, while 
others were ordered to remain in their rooms. A few feared for their 
safety; most of them just wanted to go inside and get their things.

While she stood in the parking lot, Deb Sheldon of Tipton called relatives 
to tell them of the shootings. Sheldon said she knew the sound was gunshots 
as soon as she heard them, and ran outside. She described her state as 
"freaked out," but she was reassured by the quick response by officers.

"It's weird, what are you going to do?" she said. "I moved from a different 
hotel to this one because that hotel was sketchy. Not that it's the hotel's 
fault. I guess it shows that something like this can happen to you everywhere."

Lynn Worrell of Iowa City had just pulled into the Heartland Inn parking 
lot when she saw hotel guests she recognized being led out on stretchers.

"Maybe it's not as safe as we thought it was," she said. "It's very unnerving."

Boie said he was unsure of his plans for the evening.

"We may be going home tonight," he said, glancing at his hotel room window. 
"If we can get the car keys."
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