Accused shooter has Army background
Armed with military training, Corey Trott threatened probation officer, sheriff and police officers
October 11, 2013
Eight years before he was accused of murder for the shooting death of a Rockwell City police officer last month, Corey Trott was being trained by the U.S. Army to fire a gun similar to the one allegedly used in the shooting.
The 32-year-old from Rockwell City was discharged from the Army in February 2006, just one year into the eight-year commitment that was required at the time, said Raymond Gall, an Army spokesman. Gall declined to reveal whether Trott's discharge was honorable but said Trott was absent without leave for more than a month near the end of his Army stint.
"He didn't do anything spectacular," Gall said of Trott, who was awarded two service medals for national defense and the global war on terrorism. "Most soldiers you see who served anywhere from 9/11 on have one or another of these medals."
Trott was assigned to Fort Carson, Colo. The Army taught him to use fully automatic rifles, hand grenades and machine guns.
The high-power rifle Trott allegedly fired at Officer Jamie Buenting in the early morning hours of Sept. 13 has the same bullet caliber as the M-16 rifle that is commonly issued to Army soldiers. But state investigators have declined to reveal more information about the weapon, such as whether it was an AR-15, the popular semiautomatic sibling of the M-16.
Buenting, 37, was among a group of officers who surrounded a small house on Pleasant Street in Rockwell City on the evening of Sept. 12. They had a warrant out for Trott's arrest, and a neighbor had reported seeing him there. Days earlier, Trott allegedly assaulted his mother and stole $300 from her.
An all-night standoff ensued between officers and Trott, who was in the house. At about 1:40 a.m., a single gunshot from the house struck Buenting between his chest and neck. He was later pronounced dead at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital in Lake City.
Buenting was wearing a protective vest at the time, said Gerard Meyers, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.
Trott surrendered to police after 5 a.m. and was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Officers did not fire a shot during the standoff.
"During an interview Trott admitted to having knowledge that officers were attempting to execute a warrant and that he knowingly fired a .223-caliber rifle at a police officer," court records state.
Trott has since pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Trott's mother, Marjorie Trott of Rockwell City, told the Daily Times Herald that she didn't know much about her son's time in the Army, including why he joined or left.
"I called him up one day and got ahold of him, and he was in Des Moines, and he said he was checking into the Army," she said but declined to talk further about her son's past.
Trott was a cavalry scout, military records show.
"Cavalry Scouts engage the enemy with anti-armor weapons and scout vehicles in the field, track and report enemy movement and activities, and will direct the employment of various weapon systems onto the enemy," according to information provided by the Army.
The September standoff in Rockwell City was not Trott's first confrontation with police.
In 2003, before he joined the Army, Trott was arrested for allegedly holding a gun to his sister's head, hitting her and pushing her into a bathtub. He was charged with domestic assault, convicted of disorderly conduct and spent two days in jail.
After a 2007 harassment conviction, Trott's probation officer, Steve Carse, reported in 2009 that Trott had called him, accusing the probation officer of threatening the Trott family and telling Carse he should carry a 9-millimeter gun if he returned to Calhoun County.
Trott mentioned his Army experience in the voicemail threat.
"The message included stating that I did not know who I was messing with due to him being an ex-(Department of Defense) member," Carse stated in court records. The U.S. Department of Defense oversees the military.
After his probation was revoked, Trott spent two years in prison and was written up three times for fighting with other inmates, said Fred Scaletta, assistant director of the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Trott had been on probation after the harassment conviction, stemming from charges of harassment and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. Early one morning in 2007, he allegedly made several calls to a Calhoun County dispatcher and to Calhoun County Sheriff William Davis' house.
A written statement from Trott reads, "I called the Sheriff and threatened to 'cap him;' and I called a dispatcher and made threats regarding deputies being taken out in body bags."
The officer who arrested him was Jamie Buenting.
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