Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner an investigation has concluded the actions by 2 Nebraska State troopers and one Lincoln police officer during a shootout with a Wyoming couple Saturday morning in Lincoln were justified.
30-year-old Hailey Stainbrook of Casper died following emergency surgery Saturday while 26-year-old Christian Alexander of Evansville succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday.
Sheriff Wagner says his office conducted the investigation into the shootout and County Attorney Pat Condon determined the 3 were justified in using deadly force against both suspects. Under state law, a grand jury will be called to make the final determination on whether the officers’ actions were justified and lawful.
Wagner says Alexander and Stainbrook posed a “very real threat of public safety” after several days of criminal activity and that it was “great work by the officers involved,” adding that everyone is thankful no one else was hurt.
The incident began when a trooper spotted an SUV believed used in a robbery in a Lincoln hotel parking lot and gave chase. Alexander fired at officers during the pursuit, which ended when the trooper used his cruiser to spin out the SUV.
Sheriff Wagner says gunfire was then exchanged with Alexander hit first. The officers negotiated with Stainbrook for 7 minutes, trying to get her to drop her gun so they could help Alexander, but shot her after she pointed her gun at them.
The Lincoln police officer involved was Jesse Hilger, a 19 year veteran of the force who has been placed on paid administrative leave pending internal review. The names of the two state troopers are not being released under agency policy
One of the troopers suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the incident, but was not shot – he was hurt in the driving maneuver that stopped the SUV. Patrol Supt Colonel John Bolduc says the trooper continues to recover but may need additional treatment.