Nebraska trooper wounded, man killed in overnight shootout

JUNIATA, Neb. (AP) — A state trooper was wounded and a suspect killed in a shootout with patrol troopers Wednesday morning in south-central Nebraska, authorities said.

Brooks Hacker, 35, died after a lengthy standoff with law enforcement. He had recently moved from Omaha to Juniata, a village of about 800 people in Adams County, patrol officials said.

Neighbors around the home were either evacuated or told to stay in place as the suspect fired several shots inside and outside the home over several hours, patrol Col. John Bolduc said.

“Let me begin by saying any loss of life is tragic, but in this case I have no doubt that the quick and professional actions of patrol troopers, Adams County deputies and Hastings police officers may very well have saved lives in Juniata,” Bolduc said.

Hacker’s girlfriend called 911 Tuesday night to report that the couple had a verbal confrontation that turned physical and he had fired at her, Patrol Capt. Jeff Roby said at a news conference.

As law enforcement officers surrounded the home, the woman fled into the backyard and hid before she was able to eventually reach law enforcement officers, Roby said.

The suspect fired dozens of shots inside and outside the home during the standoff, hitting a patrol car and two armored vehicles, Roby said.

One trooper, a 19-year patrol veteran who is on the SWAT team, was hit in the arm. He was treated and released at a hospital.

Hacker continued firing at officers before coming out when tear gas canisters were fired into the home, Roby said.

He was holding a gun when he came out of the house and was shot by a patrol SWAT team member, Roby said. He died at the scene in Juniata, about 97 miles (156 kilometers) west of Lincoln.

Adams County authorities said they had no prior contact with Hacker. Preliminary information indicated Hacker was drunk during the confrontation, Roby said.

The trooper who shot Hacker was placed on leave while the incident is investigated, as is normal procedure.

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