UPDATE: Stand-off ends; two taken into custody
By: Brittany Paris
Sheriff Terry Wagner says Burkhart's estranged wife works at a hotel nearby, and saw Burkhart from a window.
He says she called Lincoln Police, who alerted the Fugitive Task Force.
Police surrounded the Quality Inn and Suites on NW 12th Street near the airport for five hours on Thursday, waiting for 33-year-old Jeremiah Burkhart to come out of the 5th floor room he barricaded himself in.
“Burkhart barricaded himself in the room and would not come out. He had a felony warrant in Lancaster County for unauthorized use of a financial device,” Lancaster County Sheriff, Terry Wagner, said.
The warrant was issued a week ago. Court documents say Burkhart used a stolen credit card in December and charged more than $2,000 to it.
The documents say he had served time in prison for assault and was released in March last year.
Officials say Burkhart made a number of threats to police that caused enough concern to put their tactical response unit in operation.
“We had information that Burkhart was armed and that he would not go back to prison and not be taken alive,” Sheriff Wagner said.
The task force evacuated the 5th floor immediately, but officials say other guests and employees were still inside the building.
Carolyn Feely's daughter was one of those employees.
“I'm scared. Very scared. She says everything's fine. Everybody's safe. Everything's surrounded so they're just stuck there and they don't want to be,” Feely said.
The tense, five hour standoff started around 10:30 in the morning. You could see Burkhart walking on the balcony at times. It ended peacefully around 3:30 in the afternoon.
“Burkhart unbarricaded the door and came out after a lengthy negotiation with deputies,” Sheriff Wagner said.
He was taken into custody along with 27-year-old Kevin Gaylord, who was in the room with Burkhart.
Gaylord was wanted on an outstanding traffic warrant.
“We were thankful that nobody was hurt in the ordeal and we were able to take him into custody without incident,” Sheriff Wagner said.
Officials say Burkhart's friends and family were there to help law enforcement convince him to surrender.