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Southwest Iowa deputy shot; escaped inmate sought

NEW MARKET, Iowa (AP) — Officers scoured a section of Taylor County in southwest Iowa on Monday for an escaped inmate suspected of shooting and wounding a sheriff's deputy.

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Mitch Mortvedt of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigations said a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter was helping Iowa and Missouri officers who were searching a rural area southeast of New Market. The inmate was identified as Rodney Long, who escaped the minimum-security prison facility in Clarinda on Friday morning.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety said the shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. Sunday on Iowa Highway 2 just east of New Market. Deputies had been dispatched to check on someone who was walking along the highway.

The department said Deputy Dan Wyckoff was the first officer to arrive and was fired at as soon as he got out of his cruiser to talk to the man. Wyckoff was hit twice and sought cover nearby. The gunman jumped into the deputy's cruiser and roared away.

Another deputy soon arrived, the department said. He picked up Wyckoff and the two began chasing the stolen patrol car. The chase wound through rural Taylor County for about 40 minutes, punctuated by exchanges of gunshots. Officers from several Iowa jurisdictions and from Missouri participated.

The department said the chase ended when the stolen cruiser went out of control and rolled several times on a rural Taylor County road. The man escaped and fled on foot.

Personal items left in the wrecked cruiser led officers to conclude that Long was the man who shot Wyckoff and stole his vehicle, the department said.

Agent Mortvedt said Wyckoff was flown in stable condition to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The other deputy's name hasn't been released.

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