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Beminio, a 1996 state champion, one of two officers killed in ambush

Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio, an Iowa high school state champion wrestler, was one of two officers killed in separate "ambush-style" shootings in the Des Moines area early Wednesday morning.

Sgt. Anthony "Tony" Beminio
At approximately 1 a.m. Central time, Urbandale officer Justin Martin was killed while in his patrol car in the Des Moines suburb he served. About 20 minutes later, Beminio was shot in his patrol car in the city of Des Moines while responding to reports of officer Martin's shooting. Beminio was transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center, where he died.

A suspect in both shootings, Scott Michael Greene, 46, was arrested without incident approximately 35 miles west of the Iowa capital later on Wednesday.

Beminio's death is the first time a Des Moines police officer had been shot and killed in the line of duty since two officers were gunned down in separate incidents in 1977. The killing of Martin was the first time an Urbandale officer had been killed in the line of duty.

Tony Beminio won the heavyweight title at the Iowa high school state championships for Iowa City West High School in 1996. In addition, he was an all-state football player for the Trojans.

Beminio and his family had moved to Iowa City from Eagle Grove, in western Iowa, in 1994, when he was a sophomore, recalled Scott Williamson, West's head wrestling coach at that time and now Sioux Central superintendent.

"He wanted to succeed and was willing to be pushed to succeed," Williamson told the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Coach Williamson went on to describe Beminio as being 6' 4" tall and weighing in at 250 pounds, "with explosive energy and strong hips" which made him "a natural at Greco-Roman wrestling" which he participated in after high school.

After graduating from Iowa City West, Beminio played football and wrestled for the University of Northern Iowa before transferring to Morningside College, in Sioux City, to play football in 1998, according to Gazette reports.

Later, both Beminio and Martin attended Simpson College, a NCAA Division III school in Indianola, Iowa, south of Des Moines. Beminio graduated in 2001 and joined the Des Moines police force in 2005. Martin graduated in 2015 and joined the Urbandale Police Force shortly after graduating.

Beminio, who played football at Simpson, graduated with a Criminal Justice degree and an Administration Concentration. Beminio also served in the Indianola Police Department.

"The loss of any police officer in such a senseless act of violence is a tragedy," Simpson President Jay Simmons said. "This is almost too much to bear. We all extend our deepest sympathy to the families of Anthony and Justin. We consider them part of our family, too."

"Tony was the kind of man who should be a cop," said Lora Friedrich, Beminio's adviser at Simpson College told The Simpsonian Wednesday. "He never met a stranger. He was open-minded and kind and fair. The world lost a great man today."

Dan McCool, former long-time wrestling writer for the Des Moines Register, shared his memories of the fallen Des Moines officer on Facebook.

"Anthony 'Tony' Beminio, I watched you grow up on the wrestling mat and was always proud of the life you made for yourself and your family. I saw you compete in many high school gyms in freestyle, I watched you win a state championship in 1996, I saw how proudly you wore a policeman's badge, you told me how thrilled you were to get a promotion in the DMPD, you told me how lucky you were to have the love of a good woman, how blessed you were to be a father. You're a good man with good parents. You were a big dude, but the height and massive muscles do not match how big your smile was and how big your heart was. My heart is in pieces for the loss to your wife and children, your parents, your department and your brotherhood in blue."

Comments

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Keyser Soze83 (1) about 2 years ago
Absolutely senseless, sounds like a great guy and the exact type of gentleman that we as US citizens pray become police officers. Sad day in Iowa