White Nebraska man shoots and wounds 7 Guatemalan immigrant neighbors

CRETE, Neb. (AP) — A white Nebraska man described as reclusive and confrontational shot and wounded seven neighbors who are Guatemalan immigrants, and investigators said they are not ruling out racist motives.

About 15 people were at the victims’ home, mostly in the yard, when Billy Booth, 74, opened fire from his house in Crete with a shotgun around 4:30 p.m. Friday, officials said.

Booth killed himself after the shootings. The victims, who are related and include four children ages 3 to 10, are expected to survive.

The shootings shook Crete, a diverse community of about 7,000 residents about 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Omaha. The population is about 50% Hispanic and almost 25% foreign-born.

Booth largely kept to himself but had a history of conflict with his neighbors when he did interact with them, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

Police previously received a complaint from the family that Booth had made an obscene gesture and told them to go back to where they came from and “speak English,” Crete Police Chief Gary Young said Saturday. The family did not press charges, he said.

Investigators were trying to determine the motive and were not ruling out a racial motivation, he said.

“The context to ‘go home’ and ‘speak English’ lends itself to that,” the chief said.

Neighbors said Booth butted heads with white neighbors on his street, too.

“He hated everybody,” said Dave Hansen, whose home is next door to Booth’s.

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