Officer involved shooting as part of Mason City murder case legally justified according to Winnebago County Attorney

MASON CITY — An officer-involved shooting as part of a Mason City murder investigation earler this month has been ruled as justified.

25-year-old Jelani Faulk is accused of willfully, deliberately and with premeditation repeatedly discharged a firearm at another person at about 1:13 AM  on October 3rd near the Happy Donkey Bar at the intersection of State and Federal. 35-year-old Christopher Tucker of Garner suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic hospitals in Rochester where he died the next day.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Mason City police officer Noah Friese encountered Faulk and 24-year-old Kristopher Keys of Dubuque shortly after the shooting. Friese ordered the two men to the ground with Keys compiling, but Faulk allegedly pointed a handgun toward Friese, with Friese firing three shots and striking Faulk.

Winnebago County Attorney Kelsey Beenken reviewed the case on behalf of the Cerro Gordo County Attorney’s office.  In a letter dated on Tuesday and released by the DCI today, Beenken says Faulk raised his arm and aimed a firearm at Friese. Friese then fired at Faulk, who stumbled and fell to the ground, with his firearm falling to the ground next to his feet. Faulk’s firearm was removed and secured, and medical attention was provided to Faulk.

Beenken says Friese had no alternative option after Faulk pointed the firearm in his direction than to shoot him to avoid potential injury to himself or innocent bystanders, and therefore his actions as an officer were legally justified. 

Faulk is currently being held in the Cerro Gordo County Jail on the first-degree murder charge as well as a charge of interference with official acts. His total bond is $1,050,000 cash only. His arraignment hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday.