Graffe Holmes

In this photo dated Oct. 25, 2021, Graffe Holmes, right, is sworn in by Centerville Mayor Mike O'Connor. Holmes was relieved of duty by the Centerville Police Department in December because he did not disclose a police investigation involving him, public records say.

CENTERVILLE — The Centerville Police Department parted ways with a patrol officer last month because he did not disclose that he was being investigated in connection with a Mason City shooting, public records say.

Police chief Tom Demry told The Courier this week that Graffe Holmes was fired from the department on Dec. 22. He had been employed since October 2021.

The termination came after the department received information "from a law enforcement agency within the state of Iowa" on Dec. 13 that Holmes was connected to ongoing investigations from February 2021, prior to his employment.

On Dec. 15, the department placed Holmes on leave pending an internal investigation. After the investigation, the department concluded that Holmes would be terminated for failing to disclose the investigations, which were deemed to be information that would impact his fitness or eligibility for the position.

A statement from Demry said the investigations were not uncovered by the reporting agency who conducts the department's pre-employment background investigations.

A review of court records shows the Mason City Police Department obtained a search warrant for a vehicle registered to Holmes as part of an investigation into a shooting that occurred on Feb. 28, 2021. 

The warrant, which was signed by a judge, sought to search Holmes' vehicle for firearms related to the shooting. Holmes has not been criminally charged in the incident. Mason City Police Lt. Rich Jensen did not comment other than to say police are still actively investigating the shooting.

Following the search warrant, officers say in court documents that they found a loaded Blazer Brass 9mm Luger gun in the vehicle.

According to the search warrant information, Mason City police were initially dispatched for gun shots being fired and a subject who took off running from the scene. Officers were unable to locate the running subject but found several 40 caliber and 9 mm casings in the area. A vehicle registered to Holmes was found parked on the street where the incident occurred.

The victim arrived at a local hospital on his own with a gunshot wound to the chest. Eight days before the shooting, police said Holmes had two guns stolen from him, and the suspect in that theft was the victim in the shooting.

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.


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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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