The name of the suspect killed in an early morning incident involving law enforcement in Colfax County has been released.
The Colfax County Attorney says Jason T. Van Buskirk, 32, Columbus, was killed after shooting at a Nebraska State Patrol trooper and leading authorities on a two-county pursuit, before ramming his pickup into several law enforcement vehicles. Initial investigative reports indicated shots at the scene were fired by the Nebraska State Patrol, the Columbus and Schuyler Police Departments.
The investigation into the incident continues. An autopsy will be performed.
Investigative reports, once completed, will be forwarded to the Colfax County Attorney. Nebraska law requires a grand jury be convened anytime someone dies while in custody or in the process of apprehension.
(Schuyler, Neb.)- A suspect involved in a domestic disturbance is dead after shooting at a Nebraska State Patrol Trooper.
Just before 1:30 a.m., Friday, June 20, a trooper with the Nebraska State Patrol responded to assist with reports of a domestic disturbance involving a man with a gun in the 4200 block of East 3rd Street in Columbus. While responding to the scene, the trooper encountered a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle, near Southeast 36th Street in Columbus. The trooper initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, a black 2012 Dodge Ram pickup. As the trooper approached the passenger side of the vehicle the lone male driver fired shots at the trooper. The trooper returned fire, and the pickup sped away.
The trooper, who was not hit by the gunfire, returned to his vehicle and a pursuit ensued. The pursuit lasted approximately 10 minutes and ended when the trooper lost sight of the suspect vehicle as it headed northbound on a county road.
The Nebraska State Patrol helicopter, additional troopers and local law enforcement responded to the area. Just before 3:00 a.m., the suspect’s pickup was spotted by a trooper on Highway 30 on the east edge of Columbus. The trooper attempted to stop the vehicle which took off eastbound. The NSP helicopter followed the pickup from the air, directing troopers and law enforcement on the ground as the vehicle traveled county roads north and east into Colfax County. The pickup ran over two sets of spike strips before coming to a stop on Old Highway 30 on the west side of Schuyler.
The pickup stopped briefly, before taking off again, traveling only a short distance before ramming head-on into a Platte County Sheriff’s Office patrol unit parked along Old Highway 30. Additional officers responding to the scene were stopped behind the pickup near the intersection of County Road 10, when the driver put the pickup in reverse, crashing into two other law enforcement vehicles.
At that time, officers opened fire on the suspect vehicle. The suspect, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene.
No law enforcement officers were struck by gunfire. A Schuyler Police Officer hit by flying glass was treated and released from a local hospital.
“This was a very dangerous situation,” said Colonel David Sankey, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “We had an individual who was intent on causing harm and through the efforts of these dedicated law enforcement officers we were able to prevent him from taking any innocent lives.”
The Nebraska State Patrol was assisted by Police Departments from Columbus and Schuyler and Sheriff’s Offices from Platte, Colfax and Butler Counties.
The investigation into the incident continues. An autopsy will be conducted. Investigative reports, once completed will be forwarded to the Colfax County Attorney. Nebraska Law requires a grand jury be convened anytime someone dies while in custody or in the process of apprehension.