Body of man in standoff found in fire-damaged home

WEST BURLINGTON (AP) — Authorities have recovered from a fire-damaged home the body of a man involved in a standoff with officers in southeast Iowa.

The body of 62-year-old Michael Kartel was found in his West Des Moines basement around 8 p.m. Monday, said Police Chief Jesse Logan. It was taken away for autopsy, Logan told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Officers were sent to Kartel’s home around 2:40 a.m. Monday to check on his welfare. Logan told The Hawk Eye that Kartel had assaulted a woman Friday and was threatening to assault her again.

Kartel brandished a shotgun when officers arrived, Logan said, so they backed away and called for backup. Officers heard shots inside the home, and the chief said Kartel also fired in the direction of officers, hitting none. No one fired back, Logan said.

Negotiators made little progress, Logan said, and a fire thought to have been set by Kartel was noticed around 2 p.m. Firefighters were kept from battling the flames because of the threat posed by Kartel until around 4:30 p.m., when officers concluded that he wasn’t hiding in wait.

Court records show Kartel had previous run-ins with authorities. He was awaiting prosecution on charges of harassment and driving while intoxicated.