The shooting death of Rockwell City Police Officer Jamie Buenting Friday underscores the fact that any day can be a law enforcement officer's last.
Buenting, whom Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody called a "consummate professional," was part of a team effort responding to a standoff at a Rockwell City home.
He was killed by a single shot.
By any measure, Buenting was well-trained. His 12-year law enforcement career included service on two area police departments as well as the regional Special Emergency Response Team; he was a firearms instructor, certified on handgun, shotgun and rifle.
The outpouring of emotion from colleagues, friends, students and community members proves he was both respected and well liked.
Yet experience, training and the support of those around him weren't enough to protect him from one bullet.
While it's more likely for a big-city officer to be killed in the line of duty, Buenting's death reminds us that it can happen here - or anywhere else.
Thankfully, the death of a police officer in the line of duty is still a rarity in Iowa.
But when it does occur, it serves as a reminder that on any day, every officer's life can be on the line.
The Messenger joins with those who mourn Officer Buenting's death and offer sincere condolences to his family, his fellow officers and all those whose lives were touched by him.