“He saved our lives": Iowa man cleared of charges after shooting man armed with knife

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After several months of investigation, police and prosecutors in Polk County, Iowa have concluded the same thing that eyewitnesses have been saying since May: an armed citizen was justified in shooting and killing a man who was threatening several people with a knife at an apartment complex.


Officers were called to the scene around 11:30 p.m. on the evening of May 9th, arriving to find two people shot, one of them with serious injuries. Eyewitnesses told police that 62-year-old Stephen Miller wasn’t the victim but the aggressor, and that he’d only been shot after threatening the group with a knife.

“He saved our lives. We would have been stabbed if he wouldn’t have kept his line of sight with that man to make sure that we did not get hurt,” said Shelby Meier, the wife of the alleged shooter.

“Horrific. I am in shock. Like how everything went down. Not something I expected,” said Katelyn Moredock, the wife of the second shooting victim who will survive.

Meier and Moredock allege that Miller was being aggressive from Moredock’s room, attacking Moredock’s husband. That is when Meier said her husband went into the room and that is when Miller grabbed a knife. From there the ladies described being chased with the blade into the apartment hallway, fearing for their lives, saying the shooter had no choice.

“He did have his gun raised and told him ‘stop please, please don’t do this, please stop’, and he just charged at him like a wild animal,” said Meier. “…He just kept coming. He wouldn’t stop even the first shot he still stayed standing.”

The ladies would go on to say that the alleged shooter helped Moredock’s husband by providing first aid until medics arrive.

It took some time for the authorities to concur with what Meier and Moredock reported, but on Friday Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham and the local police officially cleared the armed citizen of any wrongdoing.


The Johnston Police Department, with the assistance of the State of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Lab and Ankeny Police Department’s Crime Scene Technician, has concluded a comprehensive investigation into the homicide of Steven Miller that occurred on May 9, 2023. After reviewing all evidence, including witness interviews and forensic examination of evidence, Polk County Attorney Kimberly Graham has determined that Dalton Meier acted in self-defense and used reasonable force.

According to Iowa law, an individual may use lethal force if it is deemed necessary to protect themselves or others from injury or harm.

The Johnston Police Department would like to thank the Ankeny Police Department, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Polk County Attorney’s Office for their assistance during the initial response and subsequent investigation.

By all accounts, the armed citizen only resorted to deadly force when he reasonably believed that lives were in danger. The official press release states that Meier acted in self-defense, but I’d say he was acting to save the lives of others as well as his own.

Dalton Meier may not consider himself a hero, but I do. Not only did he protect the lives of his wife and friends, but after stopping the threat he tried to save the life of the man who was attacking them. I’m sure that the last thing Meier wanted was to be in a position where he had to draw and discharge his firearm, but once that moment was thrust upon him by Miller’s aggression he did the right thing.


Gun control activists love to portray gun owners and armed citizens as wannabe vigilantes who are just looking for trouble, but the gun owners I know all hope that they’re never in a position where they have to use their guns in self-defense. They’re also smart enough to understand that no matter what they want, they could still find themselves in circumstances where their lives are in danger, and they don’t want to be defenseless if that situation should ever arise.

Look, I don’t want my kitchen to catch fire, but I still have a fire extinguisher in case it does. I have that same mentality when it comes to keeping and bearing arms. I’ll be perfectly happy if I end my days without ever having to use my firearm in self-defense. I’m just not about to stop exercising my right to keep and bear arms on the assumption that I’m forever safe from being the target of someone else’s deadly rage or violent intent.

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