Chadron Police Chief Rick Hickstein credits inter-agency and public cooperation with a quick resolution Tuesday to a manhunt that began with a high-speed chase from the Pine Ridge Reservation involving 2 suspects in a weekend shooting
The incident led to a roughly hour-long lockout at Chadron State College and all Chadron schools, but was wrapped up in less than 90 minutes with Chadron police, the Dawes County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol and Oglala Sioux tribal officers.
Chief Hickstein says all 4 agencies worked together seamlessly with the schools and the public helping keep things calm.
The incident began a little after 2:00 pm when Chadron dispatchers were contacted by the Oglala Sioux Dept of Public Safety and told a high-speed chase that started on the Reservation was approaching Chadron.
The suspect vehicle was spotted as it entered town, with a Chadron resident calling in that it had been abandoned in the 200 block of Cedar Street. The occupants, a man and woman – both Native Americans – fled on foot between houses.
An area about 5 blocks by 6 blocks was cordoned off with Nebraska State Patrol Sgt Mick Downing making the arrest as the pair walked north on Main Street at the railroad tracks. Hickstein says setting the perimeter was easy because of agency familiarity.
Hickstein says the lockout at the schools and the college was requested as a precaution since there was a “potential threat in the community” with the suspects believed to have a shotgun. No gun was found and may have been ditched after they fled their vehicle.
Hickstein says authorities are still determining the identity of the male suspects. Tribal arrest warrants for him are still being drafted, but because he gave Sgt Downing a false name, he’s being held on a charge of false reporting.
The female suspect is 21-year old Candace Lessert. She’s being held on drug charges after methamphetamine was found on her after her arrest.