SIOUX CITY | A man accused of shooting a Sioux City patrolman in the head has an extensive criminal record dating back to grade school.
Jamal Dean, 21, was being sought Wednesday morning for the shooting of Sioux City police Officer Kevin McCormick, 35. Dean fired eight shots at McCormick, striking him in the forehead, when the officer pulled over a vehicle he was riding in Monday afternoon, said Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young.
McCormick is expected to recover. He was released from a hospital Tuesday.
When McCormick pulled the car over in an alley in the 1300 block of West Fourth Street for a seatbelt violation, he inadvertently came into contact with Dean, a gang member who served time in prison for a weapons charge and is suspected in several area shootings, police said.
His police record dates to 1998 in South Sioux City. That’s when Dean, then age 7, was accused of trespassing, according to court documents.
“We’ve had over 50 calls with him since, and most of it is vandalism and assaultive behavior,” said South Sioux City Police Chief Scot Ford.
Ford's officers joined several local, state and federal agencies in the hunt for Dean.
Young said officers searched house to house in the westside neighborhood near the shooting scene. Dean could still be in the neighborhood or elsewhere, Young said.
On Tuesday night, Dean's father, Lee Dean, of Sioux City, made a public plea in Cook Park for his son to turn himself in and apologized to the victim’s family.
“We don’t want any more officers to get hurt or for Jamal to get hurt,” he said with his sister, Barbara Dean, by his side. She wiped tears from her eyes before delivering a message for her nephew.
“Do the right thing, honey,” she said. “Turn yourself in so no else gets hurt.”
Lee Dean said he’s known McCormick's father, Sioux City police Sgt. Mike McCormick, for years and that he’s good friends with his family.
“He knows me really well,” Lee Dean said. “I wanted to apologize to Mike McCormick and his family. … We wish it never would have happened.
“We’re just pleading for my son, Jamal, to turn himself in.”
The Police Department has received tips on Dean's possible location. Tipsters' information led to the arrest of his brother, Levon Dean, on a robbery warrant Monday night.
Jamal and Levon Dean are accused in court documents of robbing a Sioux City resident at gunpoint in his Polk Street home April 24.
Assistant Woodbury County Attorney James Loomis said in a court affidavit that Jamal Dean pointed a gun – which police believe is the same semiautomatic Mossberg .22-caliber rifle used to shoot McCormick -- at the victim and hit him on the head with it. The brothers are accused of taking electronics, cash, credit cards and two cars.
The two are also suspected of robbing area drug dealers in recent weeks, Young said.
Investigators hunting for Jamal Dean after Monday's shooting found the gun in a garbage can a few blocks south of where the incident took place.
Young said that during the incident, McCormick lay down in the car and put the cruiser in reverse to escape gunfire. His call came into the police Communications Center at 3:10 p.m.
"I can't believe I'm talking to you guys right now because I've got a bullet in my forehead,” he said.
Though officers had no specific information that Dean was in South Sioux City on Tuesday, he previously lived there with his mother. Ford, the city police chief, said officers searched locations at the request of Sioux City police and looked for Dean’s acquaintances.
According to court documents, Dean lived in South Sioux City with his mother in the 3100 block of A Street and the 1700 block of F Street from 2004 to 2008. Residents of the apartment buildings said Tuesday they didn’t know Dean or his family.
Most recently, Jamal Dean listed a rental home in the 1300 block of West Third Street in Sioux City as his address. Bernabe Perez, who owns the house, said Dean’s mother had earlier rented one of the units.
He asked the woman to leave about three months ago because he thought her sons were trouble. Police frequently visited the house, and he suspected the young men of smoking marijuana, Perez said.
“I don’t want no problems,” Perez said.
Journal efforts to talk to Dean's mother Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Dean himself is described as black, 6 feet 1 inch tall and 230 pounds. He has a tattoo that says “Outlaw” on the right side of his neck and was wearing all black at the time of Monday's shooting, police said.
He is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 712-258-8477.
On Tuesday, Young urged Dean to turn himself in. He said numerous agencies are working on the case and anyone who tries to help Dean hide will face charges.
“Give yourself up,” Young said. “You will be caught, there’s no doubt about that.”
Young also appealed to the community.
“Obviously the pictures are out there. Descriptions are out there. This individual is known in the community," he said.
"My advice is, if you know him and you know where he is, to give us a call. He’s a dangerous person, he’s terrorized this community for years, and it’s time to get him off the street.”
Staff writer Ally Karsyn contributed to this report.