Scott County Attorney rules Davenport police officer was justified in October fatal shooting

Local News

The Scott County’s Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that a Davenport Police officer’s decision to use deadly force against a man in Davenport back in October was “justified and reasonable under the circumstances.”

Bobby Jo Klum, 37, died on Oct. 13, his fatal wound coming from a single shot fired from an AR-15 by Davenport Officer Mason Roth. 

In the report prepared by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, investigators walked through the events leading up to Klum’s death.

An officer first went to 806 Iowa Street to take Klum into custody, for a warrant for a sex offender registry violation as well as a “fail to stop” traffic violation from the previous day in Rock Island.

The report says the suspect ran off when the officer knocked on the door. The officer gave chase and advised Klum he had a warrant for his arrest. The report says when the officer caught up to Klum in the 900 block of East 9th Street, Klum had a gun to his head, refusing to drop the gun and surrender, running into the neighborhood.   

The report’s legal conclusion says: “Klum was told to stop, drop the weapon and that he was under arrest at least ten times.”

Investigators say less lethal weapons were used against Klum with no effect. The conclusion states Klum turned and crossed the street in the direction of onlookers after being struck with a less lethal projectile.

At that point, Officer Roth believed the individuals nearby were in danger. The report concludes that “actions by Bobby Jo Klum created the appearance that the lives and physical safety of numerous people were in immediate danger.”

Investigators later learned Klum was pointing a black Airsoft BB gun to his head. The report says Klum never told officers the gun he had was a BB gun. The report says Klum had several opportunities to advise officers it was a BB gun.

“For whatever reason, he chose not to, resulting in deadly and tragic consequences,” the report says.

A few days after Klum’s death, his wife Nicole told Local 4 she was trying to piece together what happened that day. “He was not going to go back to prison or jail for nobody,” she said. “If they were going to take him down, they’re going to take him down.” Nicole reflected on her time spent with Bobby and what he meant to her. “I sure do miss him more than anything in the world,” she said. “That goes for all of his family.”

“I miss him, and they had no reason to do that. Just because he had a BB gun held to his temple,” Nicole said Thursday, after Scott County Attorney Mike Walton’s decision. “I’m going to sue everybody. That was not right of them to do that. And they bruised him like crazy after they tossed and turned him around like a ragdoll.”

“He had called me at my job, walking down Iowa Street, saying that he had his BB gun to his temple and that he loved me and always would,” she said. “What they did was wrong, and they know it. Why would you have to put handcuffs on him after he was already shot?”

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