Columbus Sergeant shot while serving warrant expected to recover
Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News
Sergeant Brad Wangler is said to be an incredible officer, father and community member, so when he was shot while serving a warrant in this yard, the community was shocked.
"Not here. I never thought an officer would be shot here," said Lucille Gravlin, who lives near the home.
Wangler is now expected to fully recover from two gunshot wounds he sustained at this home Thursday evening, one in his neck and the other in his shoulder.
A spokesperson for the Columbus Police Department said the shooting happened after Wangler and another officer responded to a tip that 24-year-old Jorje Robledo was in a home.
He had a warrant out for his arrest for drug charges.
The official investigation isn't complete, but police said preliminary interviews said the shooting began after Wangler went to the front of the home, where a woman was leaving and told him Robledo was inside and Wangler could enter the home.
That's when they believe Wangler came face to face with Robledo holding a hand gun.
"I heard pop pop pop five or six of them," said Joanne Blaser, a witness to the incident.
Police say Wangler's gun then jammed, and he backed out of the home.
That's when they think Robledo switched to a rifle, and the shooting continued outside the home.
They both sustained several gunshot wounds and were flown to an Omaha hospital. That's where the suspect remains in critical condition.
While Wangler is expected to make it, he has the whole community on his side.
"He's been a part of the parish as long as I've been around, he's just an incredible guy," Father Joe Miksch, with St. Isadores Catholic Church said. "He has a wonderful wife and two children, they must be about second and fourth grade they're just a delightful family."
Wangler has been with the Columbus Police Department for 19 years. He's a national guard veteran who served multiple tours in Iraq, and he's incredibly involved in the community.
"He's just a great guy to be around, a wonderful husband, father and family member," Miksch said.
They said it serves as an important reminder about law enforcement officers in every community.
"It's a shame that something like this had to happen to him, or any law enforcement, they're here to protect us and he was just doing his job," neighbor John Gravlin said.
"Reminds us every time officers go out and do their duty their lives are in danger," Miksch said.
The Columbus Police Department has begun setting up a few different fundraisers in Wanger's honor.
The Columbus Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #72 was notified earlier of a donation account set up to support the family of Sergeant Brad Wangler who was shot in the line of duty last night.
An account has been set up with the help of multiple individuals including Boy Scout Pack #115 which Sgt. Wangler has been a major part of for many years.
The account is set up at First Nebraska Bank which has 10 locations across the state. The Columbus branch is located at 3225 23rd Street, across from Pizza Ranch.
Make checks payable to Brad or Nicole Wangler. Checks can be:
Mailed to P.O. Box 1277 Columbus, NE 68601
Lobby hours Mon-Fri 8AM-4PM
Made at the night deposit box
Cash only can be deposited with a live teller at the ITMs Mon-Fri 7AM-7PM. and Sat 8AM-11AM.