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Fight over daughter preceded fatal North Liberty trailer park shooting

BY JORDYN REILAND | MARCH 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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Local police officials responded to a domestic argument call in North Liberty Sunday evening, which eventually led to a standoff and the death of a University of Iowa graduate student. The argument, according to a witness, was about the whereabouts of their child.

According to the Iowa City police daily activity log, Iowa City police officials responded to the North Liberty Holiday Mobile Home Court at 6:01 p.m. on Sunday for a call regarding a domestic argument.

The log indicated that an unidentified male was jumping on the hood of a female’s car near the residence. The female drove away in a red Chevy Cavalier and was attempting to head out of the trailer court, the log said.

After the female drove away, the male proceeded to go back inside, and shortly after got into a red Chevy V71, the log indicated.

At the time, the neighbor told responders that he or she did not know the two individuals’ names, but the witness was able to confirm that the male had been yelling at the female about where their daughter was at the time.

Taleb Salameh had a one-year-old daughter.

North Liberty officers responded to the mobile home at 5:51 p.m. Sunday following a call to police regarding a domestic disturbance, according to a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Officers arrived and made contact with a woman on scene and 28-year-old Salameh.

The situation resulted in a standoff, and Salameh died after engaging in gunfire with North Liberty police officers.

Three police officials suffered non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to UI Hospitals and Clinics, according to a release from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The officers are currently on administrative leave.

According to records, in a 2010 letter sent to Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, Salameh’s psychologist, Gregory Gullickson, supported Salameh’s application for a gun permit. Salameh was being treated in individual psychotherapy since for approximately a year.

“Mr. Salameh is not showing any indications of impulse-control or substance-abuse problems,” he said in the letter. “He has reported feeling in a significantly improved mood for several months now, and I can see no reason that he not be allowed to obtain a permit to own firearms.”

Gullickson said Salameh was interested in hunting.

However, according to records obtained Monday, UI Dean of Students David Grady originally recommended to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office that it deny Salameh’s gun-permit application.

Since Grady became dean of students in 2009, Salameh was one of only two students whom Grady has recommended that the Sheriff’s Office deny permits to. Grady cited a past criminal record and potential mental health concerns.

Pulkrabek ultimately approved Salameh’s application, according to documents; however, his permit expired in February 2011.


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