WATERLOO – A Waterloo woman said there was no reason for a sheriff’s deputy to shoot at her husband during an early Wednesday vehicle chase.
Authorities said the deputy, who was on foot trying to set up anti-tire devices to end the pursuit, fired when the fleeing truck left the roadway and drove near him.
Miranda Norelius said Eric J. Norelius, 35, was driving to work at Tyson’s when a Waterloo police officer attempted to stop him for speeding on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. She said Eric Norelius was barred from driving, and he didn’t want to have her Ford F-150 pickup impounded, so he refused to pull over and had planned to return to his home on Allen Street and leave the vehicle.
“He went all over the place hoping he could lose the police,” said Miranda Norelius, who talked to Norelius in the Black Hawk County Jail following the incident. “He was trying to lose the police and then bring the car home. But that’s still no reason why you shoot at someone that is unarmed.”
One sheriff’s deputy has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings, and the Waterloo Police Department is investigating the shooting aspect, which is also standard procedure.
“I want him fired. You don’t fire on someone who doesn’t have a weapon,” Miranda Norelius said.
Eric Norelius, who wasn’t injured by the gunfire, was arrested for misdemeanor eluding, driving while barred and interference, also misdemeanors. His bond was set at $3,600, cash only.
The investigation is ongoing.
Police said the pursuit started at about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday and lasted about half an hour along a route that wound into rural Black Hawk County and then returned to Waterloo and ultimately ending in front of his home.
Miranda Norelius said authorities shot out the truck’s tires and passenger-side window and Tasered and pepper sprayed Eric Norelius when he finally stopped on Allen Street.
“That was after the chase when the truck was in the front yard,” Miranda Norelius said. She said she was home and heard the gunfire.
Sgt. Gus Farmer with the Waterloo Police Department said there was no gunfire when the truck pulled over on Allen Street at 5:15 a.m., but that a deputy had fired at the vehicle about 20 minutes into the case as it passed through the area of Cedar Bend Street and Longfellow Avenue — which is miles away from Allen Street.
According to Waterloo police, as the fleeing truck traveled on Cedar Bend, a Waterloo officer and a deputy were out of their vehicles attempting to place Stop Sticks ahead of the chase. The truck drove across a grassy area off of the road, continuing the chase, and as the truck crossed the grassy area near the deputy, the deputy fired his service weapon in the direction of the truck. The pursuit continued for about 10 more minutes.
After the chase ended, authorities seized the truck as part of the investigation.
“He said he just wanted to get the truck home,” Miranda Norelius said. “As long as the truck was home, they couldn’t take it. Well, they took it anyway because it was used in a crime because he let the police chase him.”