‘Violence came into our neighborhood.’ Priest reacts to Thursday shootout between officer, suspect

Local News

A Davenport police officer is recovering after he was injured during a shooting. This week, the priest of a church right where it happened tells Local 4 News what it was like to hear the gunfire.

Authorities trace it back to a call that came in around 11:30 Thursday morning. Police responded to an armed robbery at 12th street near Eastern Avenue, but the culprit got away.

Then, officers say, they saw the suspect’s car around 6 o’clock Thursday night near Kimberly Road and Divison Street.

The car, detectives say, was being driven by 30-year-old Clarence Washington of Davenport. Police say Washington tried to take off, but got stuck in a snowbank. That’s when he and an officer exchanged gunfire.

Washington was hospitalized and is in stable condition. The officer involved also went to a hospital, received medical treatment and was released.

The priest of a nearby church tells Local 4 News how the community can move forward.

“No one wants to experience violence, and no one wants to experience violence this close to their home,” said Father Jake Greiner, with Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church.

The community still is shaken from Thursday’s officer-involved shooting at the Walgreens parking lot on West Kimberly Road. the surrounding area has three churches, including Our Lady of Victory, and a school.

Father Greiner says the next step, when an incident like this happens, is the healing process.

“We have to truly acknowledge what happened,” Greiner said. “Violence came into our neighborhood and we have to talk about that and acknowledge that and the second is to allow our faith to speak for that because Christ is the one that we believe heals all wounds.”

Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, the Our Lady of Victory congregation has spend more than $250,000 in upgrades to their security so that when an incident like Thursday’s shootout happens, they are prepared.

“We hate when these things happen, but we’re taking precautions,” Greiner said. “We’re working to make sure that we can be as safe as possible no matter what happens.”

Pastor Geiner lives just down the road from Walgreens. He is a former military chaplain, so when he heard some loud bangs, he knew what it was.

“I realized that there was gunfire,” he said. “And then you go to the window and you see all the cop cars. I decided not to go down because again clearly 14 or 15 police cars you knew that there was a serious situation going on.”

Father Greiner says he’s glad no one was severely hurt. Now it’s time to find out what the solution is to eliminate violence in the neighborhoods.

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