Suspect In Elm Creek Shootings Commits Suicide To End 5+ Hour Police Standoff In Kearney

      Kearney authorities say a man sought for wounding his ex-girlfriend and her mother in rural Elm Creek early Monday morning committed suicide about 13 hours later to end a 5-hour police standoff in Kearney.

     The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office says 33-year-old Jeffrey Smith of Kearney was found dead by a police tactical robot about 4:30 CT after officers heard a gunshot from inside the apartment where Smith had been holed up since 11:00. 

    Buffalo County Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics responding around 2:40 a-m to reports of a shooting at a house just west of Elm Creek found 35-year old Amber Schade and her 63-year old mother, Lena Rouse, the owner of the house, with multiple gunshot wounds.

      Both women were rushed to a Kearney hospital in critical condition and later transferred to an Omaha hospital. Their current conditions are not known. 

      Authorities say several children were in the home at the time of the shooting, but none were physically harmed.

      Smith was quickly identified as the suspect and a widespread manhunt began. The sheriff’s office received a tip around 11:00 that he was in a Kearney apartment and a woman confirmed he was there alone. 

       The Nebraska State Patrol SWAT team responded and negotiators communicated with Smith by phone for several hours. Police finally used 2 armored vehicles and the robot to put gas inside the apartment. Smith apparently shot himself about that time.

      The Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office says no officers were injured during the standoff and none fired their weapons. 

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