Ambrose trial: Police were called to Waterloo home before shooting

2013-02-07T21:45:00Z 2013-02-13T11:24:30Z Ambrose trial: Police were called to Waterloo home before shootingBy JEFF REINITZ, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

WATERLOO, Iowa --- In the 45 minutes before the shooting that claimed the life of Kay Straw, police had been to the scene four times.

Authorities said Kevin Deshay Ambrose killed Straw and wounded Marlene Buss at 704 Newell St. after Buss attempted to break off their relationship May 2.

Sheriff’s deputies said at about 5:25 p.m. they handed Ambrose a no contact order initiated by Buss that required him to vacate the home.

Ambrose left, but police said there were continuing problems at the house as relatives from both sides arrived to pack up belongings.

Officer Matthew Miller with the Waterloo Police Department said he was first called to the home at 6:07 p.m. because of arguments over the items that were being removed.

He said he calmed everyone down and had the relatives return items to the house. They were allowed to take clothing.

He said some of the people left, and he remained until there 6:22 p.m.

But at 6:26 p.m., he was summoned back to the house because Buss was upset that Ambrose’s brother, Jeremi Montgomery was in her bedroom while she was packing. Montgomery also lived there and wasn’t subject to the no contact order.

Miller said he told Montgomery to stay out of Buss’s room and told Buss she had to leave Ambrose’s property. He then pulled out at 6:32 p.m.

Two minutes later, at 6:34 p.m., Buss flagged down Miller as he was turning his squad car around. Miller said she told him about marijuana she had found in a night stand drawer.

Miller said he couldn’t determine who owned the drugs, so he couldn’t make an arrest, and instead flushed the marijuana. He then left at 6:37 p.m.

Then at 6:39 p.m., Montgomery waved him down, again concerned about items being packed, Miller said. A sheriff’s deputy also arrived and suggested that Montgomery stay in his room until Buss left, Miller said.

Miller finally left at 6:46 p.m., but six minutes later, at 6:52 p.m., dispatchers began receiving reports of a shooting at the house and sent paramedics and officers.

The defense noted that Ambrose wasn’t at the home during the times Miller was called to quell disturbances.


Earlier: 7-year-old boy testifies, recounts shooting

1:30 p.m. - WATERLOO, Iowa --- A 7-year-old boy told jurors he saw Kevin Ambrose pull a gun on his father and shoot his grandmother as Ambrose’s murder trial continued Thursday.

Ambrose, 34, of Waterloo, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kay Straw and attempted murder for pointing a pistol at Undray Reed and shooting Marlene Buss after Buss attempted to end their relationship.

Authorities said Deondre Reed, who was 6 at the time, is the only eye witness who saw Straw shot because others had already fled the house.

Amid long pauses, Deondre’s account of the May 2 shooting came out. He swiveled slowly in the witness chair, and prosecutor Linda Fangman had to stand closer to see him over the bench.

“I want to talk about the day grandma got hurt,” Fangman said, starting off the questioning.

Deondre said he was in the kitchen eating strawberries when he saw Ambrose walk into the house carrying a bat.

He went on to say Ambrose “put the bat down and put a gun to my dad’s head.” The child said the gun jammed. Ambrose then chased Buss, his mother, out of the house.

Authorities said Buss was shot three times outside, but the child didn’t see this part of the attack.

When Fangman asked what happened next, Deondre responded “He (Ambrose) came to the back door and shot grandma.”

“Why was grandma at the back door? What was she doing?” Fangman asked.

“Trying to get out the back door,” he answered.

“Were you leaving with grandma?” she continued.

“Yes,” he responded.

Deondre’s testimony lasted only about 20 minutes.

On cross-examination, defense attorney Melissa Anderson-Seeber asked if he had originally told police that Ambrose had shot Straw and then chased his mother and if he overheard any adults recounting the incident.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. BogeyMan
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    BogeyMan - February 08, 2013 11:21 am
    Just another case that proves police departments are 99% re-active and 1% pro-active. If you should ask for protection, their response is " sorry, there is no crime committed. There is nothing I can do. If he/she commits a crime, call us immediately". Oops, too late! If the police would have stayed until the house was vacated, this may not have happened. And, it would have saved us money. Clearly, the officer was cruising around the block or up and down the street. Why not just park on the street and protect? The chevron on Waterloo Police uniforms and cruisers says "Protect and Serve". Where's the "Protect" part?
  2. leopard_colony
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    leopard_colony - February 07, 2013 8:55 pm
    The police were heavily involved but still unable to prevent murder and attempted murder. Had Buss been armed it is likely there would be no deaths or just Ambrose. Most criminals will run away when their victims are armed. But now rich liberals with armed guards want to ban all firearms useful for self defense. The Feinstein bill defines all but bolt action hunting rifles as "assault weapons". This would mean that murders like this will happen more often. It will mean more home invasions as criminals know their victims are unarmed. Criminals are already banned from having guns but still get them. A gun ban won't change that.
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