Police say to be a good witness, do what is necessary - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Police say to be a good witness, do what is necessary


by Danielle Wagner

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Diana Ward works at the Liquor and Tobacco Outlet on Broadway Street in Waterloo.

Almost every customer at the store on Wednesday had something to say or asked a question about the shootings at East Fourth Street Liquor.

Ward said she wasn't shocked to hear about the robbery attempt because it's happened before. She said she can understand why clerk Johnny Sanders took the action he did.

"Someone had already been shot once at that store that's when they got the gun and the permit to have it. He's justified in defending himself," Ward said.

Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka said the goal is to prevent this type of incident from happening at all.

"We want to somehow break that cycle, intervene before it gets to that point because when any life is lost, it's a tragedy. But we also have to keep in mind these two suspects initiated this action," Chief Trelka said.

According to Iowa law, if you have a business, you are allowed to be armed within that business.

Chief Trelka said he wouldn't encourage or discourage anyone from taking action during a life-threatening situation. It depends on the individual and the circumstances. But he said, typically, the best way for the community to get involved is to be good witnesses.

"Give us a good description. Give us a license plate number, stuff like that. However, if you think your life is in jeopardy, you do whatever you think is necessary," Trelka said.

Store clerk Diana Ward hopes this latest incident is a wake up call.

"I'm hoping the robberies are going to flat out stop. People stop and think about it. It's not right to rob from people anyway," Ward said.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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