From KNEB News in Scottsbluff, authorities say law enforcement was in the process of serving a narcotics-related search warrant immediately before an officer-involved shooting in Bayard on Tuesday morning.
At a news conference following the shooting Tuesday afternoon, Morrill County Sheriff Milo Cardenas said deputies were assisting a team of WING members serving a warrant at 123 2nd Avenue, and during that attempt at about 11:30 a.m., multiple deputies discharged their firearms, striking the subject of the warrant.
Cardenas says medical aid was immediately rendered, and the subject was taken by ground ambulance to Regional West Medical Center. The name of the individual, and their medical condition, was not immediately released.
Both the Sheriff’s and County Attorney’s offices requested an investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol, and Troop E Commander, Capt. Kurt Von Minden, said the Patrol’s Special Investigations Team had been activated.
Responding to reporter’s questions, Von Minden said it was too soon to disclose the exact circumstances that led to the firearms discharge, which would be determined in the course of the investigation, nor could the specifics of the warrant be disclosed at this time.
The number of shots fired was not disclosed, but Cardenas said two of his officers had been placed on administrative leave, and there was a minor injury to one deputy, but he could not say how the injury occurred.
Von Minden, noting that the circumstances of such officer-involved shooting incidents are different and complex, said it would likely take well over a month for the NSP Special Investigations Unit to gather evidence, conduct interviews and complete a report, which would be turned over to the County Attorney’s office. State law requires a grand jury investigation whenever a person dies while in the custody of law enforcement, or during the course of law enforcement activity.
Cardenas said the administrative suspension would reduce his current staff level by 25 percent, but his office would work with other agencies, including the State Patrol and Bayard Police Department, to ensure continued public safety coverage.