Democratic state house candidate Sonya Heitshusen recklessly discharged a handgun in her home, shattering her sliding glass door, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Iowa Feld Report. The incident occurred on Monday, June 27th, around 11:20 pm.

According to the affidavit, the handgun involved in the incident, a black Glock 21, did not belong to Heitshusen and did not have a safety. The report also indicated that alcohol was a factor in the event.

Sonya Heitshusen criminal complaint – Iowa Field Report

In the summer of 2014, Heitshusen was arrested for drunk driving. She later pled guilty to the charge that Fall.

Heitshusen, a former TV reporter and anchor, announced her intention to run for Iowa House District 28 in January of this year. Recently she won her primary election. She will face Republican David Young in November.

Sonya also works for Democratic State Auditor Rob Sand, where she serves as the office’s public information officer.

Heitshusen must now appear in court on July 18th to answer the charges against her –  Reckless use of a firearm and property damage.

Loyal Iowa Field Report readers will recall that Sonya informed us last year at an event in Boone County that she would not be responding to any of our press inquiries as this reporter does not have a journalism degree.

The exchange came after a follow-up inquiry as to why State auditor Rob Sand refuses to hand over email correspondence relating to an open records request between left-wing blogger and liberal activist Laura Bellin.

Additional reading: Rob Sand fights to keep secret emails with liberal blogger 

Inquiries sent to the State Auditor’s Office asking for clarification on the journalism degree press policy were ignored.

Iowa Field Report has reached out to Auditor Sand’s office has ignored multiple requests for comment.

Additional reading: Sand Gets Sued: Lawsuit Claims Auditor Illegally Withheld Public Records


Iowa Field Report contacted a former law enforcement official who stated that the official description of the incident raised numerous questions. The Glock 21 handgun involved has a safety feature on the trigger that prevents the gun from being fired unless the trigger is pulled from the front. “It is very unlikely that the gun will go off from being set down on a table” the source said. “A Glock trigger is designed to only fire when you intend it to.”

The source also questioned the delay in filing charges against Heitshusen. The criminal complaint says the incident happened on June 27 and that a West Des Moines police officer responded to the scene. But Heitshusen wasn’t charged until July 5.
“Why the delay?” the source asked, noting that Heitshusen’s boyfriend is a Des Moines police officer. “Was this his duty gun? Was there any effort to involve State Auditor Rob Sand? This is something that should have been handled right away on scene.”
The source pointed out that the physical evidence at the scene should be carefully examined to ensure that Heitshusen’s description of how the gun fired is true.
“If the gun fired, as she says, when she placed it on the kitchen table, the bullet hole in the glass should be at the same height as the table” the source said.  Of course, if the physical evidence doesn’t match her description it leads to the question of whether this was an accident or deliberate, something that would be far more serious.